Definition of lifeboat in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈlʌɪfbəʊt/


Image of lifeboat
1A specially constructed boat launched from land to rescue people in distress at sea.
Example sentences
  • On Sunday the lifeboat rescued a yacht which had run aground off Heir Island.
  • Both Whitby's lifeboats had to be launched to rescue five canoeists who put out to sea in a force nine gale on Saturday.
  • The lifeboat was launched after Fife coastguards received a distress call from the grounded vessel.
1.1A small boat kept on a ship for use in emergency, typically one of a number on deck or suspended from davits.
Example sentences
  • Despite removing four lifeboats from the deck, owners believe that the ship can still be towed from the port, possibly to Belfast for dismantling.
  • He apparently believes that if there are not enough lifeboats on a sinking ship, everyone should stand on deck and go down together.
  • We found a lifeboat suspended 10 feet above the deck and bedded down under a tarpaulin.



Pronunciation: /ˈlʌɪfbəʊtman/
noun (plural lifeboatmen)
Example sentences
  • A dog who plunged 40 feet down a cliff on to a beach between Tenby and Saundersfoot is making a good recovery after a rescue mission involving coastguards, lifeboatmen and a vet.
  • The main thing now is that 90 per cent of all lifeboatmen are not seamen traditionally and we are having to train people from the very start.
  • And while the Bridlington lifeboatmen were at church, the Filey lifeboat had launched in case there was a call-out.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: life|boat

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.