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.
- Also life-or-death.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use life-and-death in a sentence
Israel and the U.S. have a life-and-death interest in maintaining their technological advantage.Memo to Bibi Netanyahu: It’s Time to Build an Arsenal of Awe | Lloyd Green | December 2, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Important issues—in some cases, life-and-death issues—are at stake.
Bashar also is in a life-and-death struggle to survive today.Israel’s Dilemma: If It Attacks Iran, Will It Also Have to Hit Hizbullah? | Bruce Riedel | February 9, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
My colleagues and I made life-and-death decisions minute by minute for five to six hours a day, five to six days a week.
But this is a life-and-death lifestyle, and a very diverse population.
The man drove along the rough unmade roads as only an American farmer can drive in a life-and-death hurry.Babylon, Volume 2 (of 3) | Grant Allen
It was as though a young eagle had brought a flying panther to bay, and forced him to a life-and-death struggle.'Midst the Wild Carpathians | Mr Jkai
My brother, thou must pray for a soul; struggle, as with life-and-death energy, to get back thy soul!Past and Present | Thomas Carlyle
The mask was now discarded, and it became evident that we were engaged in a life-and-death struggle.Sixty Years in Southern California 1853-1913 | Harris Newmark
The result would be two great camps, each preparing for a new and greater life-and-death struggle.
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.