Definition of for dear or one's life in English:

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for dear (or one's) life

As if or in order to escape death: I clung on to the tree for dear life Sue ran for her life
More example sentences
  • After he had been interrogated, and fearing for his life, he escaped through a police station window.
  • Decaying gangs of the shambling undead fire out words and phrases at you, and you have to hammer them back, quickly, accurately, desperately, typing for your life.
  • I spent days three and four fighting for my life, desperate to gain the trust of my opponents.
desperately, with all one's might, with might and main, urgently, with urgency, vigorously, with as much vigour as possible, for all one is worth, as fast/hard as possible, like the devil
See parent entry: life
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