Share this entry

Share this page

lifeline

Line breaks: life|line
Pronunciation: /ˈlʌɪflʌɪn
 
/

Definition of lifeline in English:

noun

1A rope or line used for life-saving, typically one thrown to rescue someone in difficulties in water or one used by sailors to secure themselves to a boat: he rigged a lifeline fore and aft and clipped the safety line on the girl’s life jacket to it
More example sentences
  • After nearly half an hour they were spotted by the crew of a passing boat, and a lifeline was thrown to Rachel who was pulled aboard.
  • Al snatched at a fleeting memory like a drowning sailor grabbing a lifeline.
  • At least two people had to be rescued using a lifeline and life jackets as they were pulled through the fast flowing water.
1.1A line used by a diver for sending signals to the surface.
Example sentences
  • Eventually, a lifeline arrives from the surface allowing fresh oxygen and limited communication.
  • While the lake was ice-free, surface vessels kept the lifeline in operation, and pipelines and electric cables were laid under the water.
  • The tender operated or supervised the hand or kerosene-powered air pump and controlled the rope lifeline to his diver.
2A thing on which someone or something depends or which provides a means of escape from a difficult situation: the telephone has always been a lifeline for Gabby and me
More example sentences
  • The Swindon and District branch of Headway, based at Victoria Hospital, provides a lifeline to Swindonians after they leave hospital.
  • When Sophie fell poorly with glandular fever and then chronic fatigue syndrome her home computer provided a lifeline to the outside world.
  • MAX, as the light-rail system is called, hasn't just reduced traffic - it's provided a lifeline for the city's downtown.
3(In palmistry) a line on the palm of a person’s hand, regarded as indicating how long they will live.
Example sentences
  • This is for Joyce, since I have been largely unable to determine the answer to her question about mysteriously getting a cut on the lifeline of your palm.
  • The club should lie across the fingers, not in the palm, and the lifeline of your right hand needs to be firmly placed on top of the left thumb.
  • Your left thumb should meet your right hand where your lifeline and heartline intersect.

Phrases

throw a lifeline to

1
Provide (someone) with a means of escaping from a difficult situation: women who feel at risk of breaking down alone have been thrown a lifeline by a motoring organization
More example sentences
  • The deal threw a lifeline to more than 150 employees as well as thousands of customers who hold vouchers for activities such as hot air balloon flights and bungee jumping.
  • The introduction of aviation to remote islands did more than just provide a link to the mainland, it threw a lifeline to the whole community.
  • As happens so often when a side fails to take its chances, it throws a lifeline to the opposition.

Definition of lifeline in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pɪət
adjective
lively; cheerful