- ending with the death or possible death of one of the participants; crucially important: The cobra was engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the mongoose.
Origin of life-and-death
First recorded in 1680–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Idioms and Phrases with life and death
life and death
see matter of life and death.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.