a double-ended ship's boat, constructed, mounted, and provisioned so as to be readily able to rescue and maintain persons from a sinking vessel. a similarly constructed boat used by shore-based rescue services.
Origin of lifeboat
First recorded in 1795–1805; life
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for life-boat
Historical Examples of life-boat
The method of suspending the life-boat from the davits is shown at B, Fig. 101.
So she implored her father to launch the life-boat and let her go with him to the rescue.
Cloete is dragged into the life-boat and the coxswain tumbles in.
The coxswain of the life-boat can swear to it that the drawers were all empty.
The life-boat was launched, and the life-buoy was cut adrift.
British Dictionary definitions for life-boat
a boat, propelled by oars or a motor, used for rescuing people at sea, escaping from a sinking ship, etc
informal a fund set up by the dealers in a market to rescue any member who may become insolvent as a result of a collapse in market prices
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for life-boat
also lifeboat, 1801 (the thing itself attested by 1785), from life (n.) + boat.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper