lifeblood

[lahyf-bluhd]
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noun
  1. the blood, considered as essential to maintain life: to spill one's lifeblood in war.
  2. a life-giving, vital, or animating element: Agriculture is the lifeblood of the country.

Origin of lifeblood

First recorded in 1580–90; life + blood
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for lifeblood

lifeblood

noun
  1. the blood, considered as vital to sustain life
  2. the essential or animating force
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 lifeblood
n.

also life-blood, 1580s, "blood necessary for life," from life (n.) + blood (n.). Figurative and transferred use is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper