1. a person who rescues another from danger of death, especially from drowning.
  2. a person or thing that saves a person, as from a difficult situation or critical moment: That money was a lifesaver.
  3. Chiefly British. a lifeguard.

Origin of lifesaver

First recorded in 1880–85; life + saver
Related formslife·sav·ing, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for life-saver

Historical Examples of life-saver

  • And, after a while, the life-saver did get up, although he could scarcely stand.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • You'd better raid a drug-store and get some more of our life-saver, too.

    The End of Time

    Wallace West

  • But if he betrayed his surprise, the life-saver did not notice it.

    The Girl and The Bill

    Bannister Merwin

  • "You certainly are the one and only life-saver," she breathed joyfully.

  • The Captain had proved a life-saver indeed to the proud old bird.

    When the Cock Crows

    Waldron Baily

British Dictionary definitions for life-saver


  1. the saver of a person's life
  2. another name for lifeguard
  3. informal a person or thing that gives help in time of need
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