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

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’
    • ‘From the nature of her injuries, it was apparent that Jodi had fought desperately for her life.’
    • ‘After he had been interrogated, and fearing for his life, he escaped through a police station window.’
    • ‘They ran for their life and climbed a tree when the waves came.’
    • ‘And they should have run for their life when they discovered the foul-smelling swamp nearby.’
    • ‘Today, she is desperately fighting for her life in hospital and a bone marrow transplant is the only thing that could cure her.’
    • ‘I spent days three and four fighting for my life, desperate to gain the trust of my opponents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you hear a candidate say, ‘I'd like to plant a thought in your mind,’ you'd better run for your life.’
    • ‘You don't give a damn if you feel you are fighting for your life.’
    • ‘Put it this way: of the current team, who would you most like batting for your life?’
    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 as possible, as hard as possible, like the devil
    View synonyms