[ lahyf-lahyn ]
See synonyms for lifeline on
  1. a line, fired across a ship or boat, by means of which a hawser for a breeches buoy may be hauled aboard.

  2. a line or rope for saving life, as one attached to a lifeboat.

  1. any of various lines running above the decks, spars, etc., of a ship or boat to give sailors something to grasp when there is danger of falling or being washed away.

  2. a wire safety rope supported by stanchions along the edge of the deck of a yacht.

  3. the line by which a diver is lowered and raised.

  4. any of several anchored lines used by swimmers for support.

  5. a route or means of transportation or communication for receiving or delivering food, medicine, or assistance: This road is the town's lifeline and must be kept open despite the snow.

  6. assistance at a critical time.

Origin of lifeline

First recorded in 1690–1700; life + line1

Words Nearby lifeline Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use lifeline in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lifeline


/ (ˈlaɪfˌlaɪn) /

  1. a line thrown or fired aboard a vessel for hauling in a hawser for a breeches buoy

  2. any rope or line attached to a vessel or trailed from it for the safety of passengers, crew, swimmers, etc

  1. a line by which a deep-sea diver is raised or lowered

  2. a vital line of access or communication

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