Definition of lifeline in English:

lifeline

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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And then, miraculously, I felt my lifeline pulling me to the surface.’
    • ‘At least two people had to be rescued using a lifeline and life jackets as they were pulled through the fast flowing water.’
    • ‘Most of the damage has now been repaired, but the boat was still without lifelines so caution was required when moving around lest we ended up going for a premature swim!’
    • ‘Rescue teams continued to drill toward six trapped miners Thursday evening and were hopeful of reaching the men with lifelines, mine officials said.’
    • ‘In an attempt to rescue the truck's occupants, several people waded out to a high point of land and improvised a lifeline from barbed wire cut from a nearby fence and a spare tire as a buoy.’
    lifeline, preservation, conservation, means of escape
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A line used by a diver for sending signals to the surface.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My wife tied the lifeline, we repeated the signals, and I was in the water.’
      • ‘Eventually, a lifeline arrives from the surface allowing fresh oxygen and limited communication.’
  • 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 than 80 pensioners use the service and see it as a lifeline to services in the region.’
    • ‘As numbers grow this service can be a lifeline to people initially unfamiliar with the Irish way of life.’
    • ‘New Yorkers took to the web as a lifeline when their phone service went out.’
    • ‘These days the boat takes tourists up the river, but in its past life the vessel was a lifeline to people living on the banks of the upper Mokau.’
    • ‘And now, living in Toronto, it is the lifeline to my greatest love: the heartbreakingly beautiful city of Montreal.’
    • ‘MAX, as the light-rail system is called, hasn't just reduced traffic - it's provided a lifeline for the city's downtown.’
    • ‘The online service will be a lifeline for rugby league fans across the country.’
    • ‘Public transport is a lifeline for people living in villages and it is essential that we try to provide them with as comprehensive a service as possible.’
    • ‘When Sophie fell poorly with glandular fever and then chronic fatigue syndrome her home computer provided a lifeline to the outside world.’
    • ‘There have been times in my life when it has been the lifeline keeping me afloat in a very chaotic world.’
    • ‘This has upset many who argue pay phones are an essential local facility and a lifeline in times of emergency.’
    • ‘The Swindon and District branch of Headway, based at Victoria Hospital, provides a lifeline to Swindonians after they leave hospital.’
    • ‘This service is a lifeline to 50 users every week and it would impact on a lot of people if it had to close.’
    • ‘The link service is a lifeline for people without transport who live in villages to the north and west of Chippenham.’
    • ‘She had decided not to retaliate and give the regime the satisfaction of knowing how much hurt it had caused her because dance was her lifeline; it was the medium through which she lived and breathed.’
    • ‘The livestock contract has now been included as part of the lifeline ferry services which are currently out to tender.’
    • ‘But it is those for whom our public services are a lifeline - the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society - who are suffering the most.’
    • ‘As he was exhaling his last breath, he was struggling to live, trying to hang on to the lifeline that he had.’
    • ‘An early version of a self-propelled train, the rail motor provided a vital community service and a lifeline to all the towns and people in the area.’
    • ‘The centre is a place of refuge and a lifeline to the many service users who regularly attend.’
  • 3(in palmistry) a line on the palm of a person's hand, regarded as indicating how long they will live.

    • ‘It starts at a point halfway along the main lifeline, and goes right off the palm and up onto the side of my hand.’
    • ‘Your left thumb should meet your right hand where your lifeline and heartline intersect.’
    • ‘She studied his palm and was dismayed at his brief lifeline.’
    • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

lifeline

/ˈlʌɪflʌɪn/