- a person sentenced to or serving a term of life imprisonment.
- a person committed to a professional lifetime career in the military.
- a person who has devoted a lifetime to a profession, occupation, or pursuit.
- (in birding)
- Also called life bird.a species of bird not seen previously and that will therefore be added to the bird watcher's life list.
- the sighting of a bird of a previously unseen species: It seems like forever since I've had a lifer!
Origin of lifer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsorganic, hostage, convict, captive, detainee, delinquent, lawbreaker, offender, tough, culprit, lag, loser, con, jailbird, lifer, internee, yardbird, malefactor, outlaw, life
Examples from the Web for lifer
The report reveals some disturbing trends in the current lifer prison population, Nellis says.
But that means a significant portion of the lifer population is behind bars for a non-homicide, Nellis points out.
They get more mail, by far, than a lifer or your average inmate coming home.Death-Row Pen Pals
November 20, 2009
Hunder'd'n One—lifer—plays off crazy—forty lashes every Monday.The Ape, the Idiot & Other People
W. C. Morrow
Up the beach we chased, and dragged out the boat we called our ‘Lifer.’The Motor Girls on Crystal Bay
The djinn was in for a lifer, and was immortal; so thought Challis to himself.It Never Can Happen Again
William De Morgan
A lifer, an' hasn't a friend in th' woild, but he's happy as th' day's long.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist
If you stay here, you're a marked man; and when you are found tripping it'll be a lifer for you, at the least.My Friend The Murderer
A. Conan Doyle
- informal a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment
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 lifer
"prisoner serving a life sentence," 1830, from life (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper