- a line, fired across a ship or boat, by means of which a hawser for a breeches buoy may be hauled aboard.
- a line or rope for saving life, as one attached to a lifeboat.
- 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.
- a wire safety rope supported by stanchions along the edge of the deck of a yacht.
- the line by which a diver is lowered and raised.
- any of several anchored lines used by swimmers for support.
- 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.
- assistance at a critical time.
Origin of lifeline
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for lifeline
These images, videos and messages became a lifeline between two worlds and a stark record of the distance between them.War Is About More Than Heroes, Martyrs, and Patriots
Nathan Bradley Bethea
November 12, 2014
The third and final “lifeline” asked whether von Trier related to his female protagonists as well as his male ones.
The second “lifeline” was what von Trier had learned about female sexuality by making Nymphomaniac.
To step inside Madison Square Garden was to grab hold of a lifeline to an alternate world of harmonic order and balance.‘When the Garden Was Eden’: Why New York City Needs the Knicks Now More Than Ever
April 19, 2014
Having Texas Republican women try to throw said candidate a lifeline only to smack him in the head with a big-ass anchor.The 'RedState Women' Wooing Scheme
April 2, 2014
I thought at least she would see my initials all over your lifeline.The Twelfth Hour
“Give her the once over and throw out the lifeline,” Jimmie said.Turn About Eleanor
Ethel M. Kelley
Ten months of siege followed as Grant methodically cut the Confederate 39 lifeline.Manasses (Bull Run) National Battlefield Park-Virginia
Francis F. Wilshin
She wakes with a tearing start from the gray dreams of death that fill her lifeline.
Half my memories were doubled, half my lifeline crooked and twisted, three new moles upon my sword-hand.
- a line thrown or fired aboard a vessel for hauling in a hawser for a breeches buoy
- any rope or line attached to a vessel or trailed from it for the safety of passengers, crew, swimmers, etc
- a line by which a deep-sea diver is raised or lowered
- 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
Word Origin and History for lifeline
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper