lives

Life \Life\ (l[imac]f), n.; pl. {Lives} (l[imac]vz). [AS. l[imac]f; akin to D. lijf body, G. leib body, MHG. l[imac]p life, body, OHG. l[imac]b life, Icel. l[imac]f, life, body, Sw. lif, Dan. liv, and E. live, v. [root]119. See {Live}, and cf. {Alive}.] 1. The state of being which begins with generation, birth, or germination, and ends with death; also, the time during which this state continues; that state of an animal or plant in which all or any of its organs are capable of performing all or any of their functions; -- used of all animal and vegetable organisms. [1913 Webster] 2. Of human beings: The union of the soul and body; also, the duration of their union; sometimes, the deathless quality or existence of the soul; as, man is a creature having an immortal life. [1913 Webster] She shows a body rather than a life. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. (Philos) The potential principle, or force, by which the organs of animals and plants are started and continued in the performance of their several and co["o]perative functions; the vital force, whether regarded as physical or spiritual. [1913 Webster] 4. Figuratively: The potential or animating principle, also, the period of duration, of anything that is conceived of as resembling a natural organism in structure or functions; as, the life of a state, a machine, or a book; authority is the life of government. [1913 Webster] 5. A certain way or manner of living with respect to conditions, circumstances, character, conduct, occupation, etc.; hence, human affairs; also, lives, considered collectively, as a distinct class or type; as, low life; a good or evil life; the life of Indians, or of miners. [1913 Webster] That which before us lies in daily life. --Milton. [1913 Webster] By experience of life abroad in the world. --Ascham. [1913 Webster] Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] 'T is from high life high characters are drawn. --Pope [1913 Webster] 6. Animation; spirit; vivacity; vigor; energy. [1913 Webster] No notion of life and fire in fancy and in words. --Felton. [1913 Webster] That gives thy gestures grace and life. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster] 7. That which imparts or excites spirit or vigor; that upon which enjoyment or success depends; as, he was the life of the company, or of the enterprise. [1913 Webster] 8. The living or actual form, person, thing, or state; as, a picture or a description from, the life. [1913 Webster] 9. A person; a living being, usually a human being; as, many lives were sacrificed. [1913 Webster] 10. The system of animal nature; animals in general, or considered collectively. [1913 Webster] Full nature swarms with life. --Thomson. [1913 Webster] 11. An essential constituent of life, esp: the blood. [1913 Webster] The words that I speak unto you . . . they are life. --John vi. 63. [1913 Webster] The warm life came issuing through the wound. --Pope [1913 Webster] 12. A history of the acts and events of a life; a biography; as, Johnson wrote the life of Milton. [1913 Webster] 13. Enjoyment in the right use of the powers; especially, a spiritual existence; happiness in the favor of God; heavenly felicity. [1913 Webster] 14. Something dear to one as one's existence; a darling; -- used as a term of endearment. [1913 Webster] Note: Life forms the first part of many compounds, for the most part of obvious meaning; as, life-giving, life-sustaining, etc. [1913 Webster] {Life annuity}, an annuity payable during one's life. {Life arrow}, {Life rocket}, {Life shot}, an arrow, rocket, or shot, for carrying an attached line to a vessel in distress in order to save life. {Life assurance}. See {Life insurance}, below. {Life buoy}. See {Buoy}. {Life car}, a water-tight boat or box, traveling on a line from a wrecked vessel to the shore. In it person are hauled through the waves and surf. {Life drop}, a drop of vital blood. --Byron. {Life estate} (Law), an estate which is held during the term of some certain person's life, but does not pass by inheritance. {Life everlasting} (Bot.), a plant with white or yellow persistent scales about the heads of the flowers, as {Antennaria}, and {Gnaphalium}; cudweed. {Life of an execution} (Law), the period when an execution is in force, or before it expires. {Life guard}. (Mil.) See under {Guard}. {Life insurance}, the act or system of insuring against death; a contract by which the insurer undertakes, in consideration of the payment of a premium (usually at stated periods), to pay a stipulated sum in the event of the death of the insured or of a third person in whose life the insured has an interest. {Life interest}, an estate or interest which lasts during one's life, or the life of another person, but does not pass by inheritance. {Life land} (Law), land held by lease for the term of a life or lives. {Life line}. (a) (Naut.) A line along any part of a vessel for the security of sailors. (b) A line attached to a life boat, or to any life saving apparatus, to be grasped by a person in the water. {Life rate}, rate of premium for insuring a life. {Life rent}, the rent of a life estate; rent or property to which one is entitled during one's life. {Life school}, a school for artists in which they model, paint, or draw from living models. {Lifetable}, a table showing the probability of life at different ages. {To lose one's life}, to die. {To seek the life of}, to seek to kill. {To the life}, so as closely to resemble the living person or the subject; as, the portrait was drawn to the life. [1913 Webster]