Definition of lifetime in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlʌɪftʌɪm/


1The duration of a person’s life: a reward for a lifetime’s work
More example sentences
  • But, in imposing the lifetime ban, the chairman of the bench said the measure was necessary to protect other animals.
  • Our wars have taken from us the men and women we honor today and every hour of the lifetimes they had hoped to live.
  • Detention without any charges and without any court review can last an entire lifetime.
lifespan, life, days, duration of life, allotted span, course of life, time on earth, existence, one's time, one's career, one's threescore years and ten, this mortal coil
informal one's born days
1.1The duration of a thing’s existence or usefulness: fifteen shops closed during the lifetime of the scheme
More example sentences
  • Today, at the start of the 21st century, human lifetimes are being extended while the lifetimes of new technologies are becoming shorter and shorter.
  • Then, they make sure those roofs get the attention they deserve to extend their useful lifetimes.
  • The potential for improved radiation resistance of thin-film solar cells relative to single-crystal cells could extend the mission lifetimes substantially.
duration, life, active life, existence, life expectancy, functioning period, period of effectiveness/usefulness/validity/efficacy
1.2 informal A very long period of time: five weeks was a lifetime, anything could have happened
More example sentences
  • It took a lifetime for the elevator doors to open on my floor, and it took another lifetime to walk to my apartment door.
all one's life, a very long time, an eternity;
hours, days, months, years, aeons, hours/days/months on end
informal ages (and ages), an age



once in a lifetime

(Of a chance or experience) unlikely to occur more than once in a person’s life: being part of the Commonwealth Games has been a once in a lifetime experience
More example sentences
  • Perhaps once in a lifetime, if we are very lucky, our paths may cross with someone who is destined to make an enormous change in our lives.
  • This is a once in a lifetime chance to change the future of this part of the county.
  • It's going to be a once in a lifetime event to raise money for the tragedy.

of a lifetime

(Of a chance or experience) such as does not occur more than once in a person’s life: because of Frankie she had rejected the opportunity of a lifetime
More example sentences
  • Budding young thespians auditioned for the chance of a trip of a lifetime to Italy.
  • It is a dilemma which is denying promising competitors the chance of a lifetime, and has even divided families.
  • Two Mayo people had what can only be described as the most emotional experience of a lifetime.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: life|time

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