- a buoyant jacket, belt, or other like device for keeping a person afloat.
- British Slang. a weapon, especially a short stick with a weighted head; blackjack.
Origin of life preserver
First recorded in 1630–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for life preserver
He'd have had to sleep with a life-preserver on if he stayed here.Thankful's Inheritance
Joseph C. Lincoln
If that critter fell overboard I wouldn't heave him no life-preserver.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
Rectus told me to put on my life-preserver, and he helped me fasten it.
On went the ship, and on went the life-preserver, skipping and dancing over the waves.
They let out lots of line, but still the life-preserver was towed away.
- British a club or bludgeon, esp one kept for self-defence
- US and Canadian a life belt or life jacket
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