Definition of livelihood in English:



  • A means of securing the necessities of life.

    ‘people whose livelihoods depend on the rainforest’
    • ‘His life and his livelihood depended on the continued good health of his son.’
    • ‘In the city people have relied on business to supply jobs to maintain their livelihoods.’
    • ‘But with such working conditions employees are putting their livelihoods before making a stand.’
    • ‘A great many people depend for their livelihood on these paths being open, not just for recreation.’
    • ‘This is just one of the workers who depends on this industry for a livelihood.’
    • ‘You want to be there for the children but this is our livelihood, our career.’
    • ‘Nearly all have to adjust to both the responsibilities of freedom and the challenge of earning their livelihood.’
    • ‘The livelihoods of many thousands of people depend on their success and they must succeed to ensure survival.’
    • ‘Our cultures, livelihoods, businesses, and coastal communities depend on it.’
    • ‘These poor souls also need investments to enable them to find jobs to earn a livelihood.’
    • ‘For many whose livelihoods depended on the yard the future has already disappeared.’
    • ‘We do not sorrow at the destruction of the tsunami just because across the continent we depend upon each other for our food and livelihoods.’
    • ‘In many tribes, political positions, as well as trades and livelihoods, also are hereditary.’
    • ‘Of course many fishermen are against this because their livelihood depends on it.’
    • ‘The club might not be in existence by the end of the season and ultimately it is our livelihoods and careers that are at stake.’
    • ‘I would never ask another professional to put his livelihood on the line.’
    • ‘It's true the timber trade provides a livelihood for some inhabitants of the region, but not for long.’
    • ‘Some lectures concern the jobs or livelihoods of the listeners at the lecture.’
    • ‘She gave myself and my crew a livelihood and we depended on her for our safety, but it is time to move on.’
    • ‘Hundreds of thousands of working people have lost their jobs and livelihoods.’
    income, source of income, means of support, means, living, subsistence, keep, maintenance, sustenance, nourishment, daily bread, upkeep
    job, day job, work, employment, occupation, trade, profession, career
    bread and butter
    View synonyms


Old English līflād ‘way of life’, from līf ‘life’ + lād course (see lode). The change in the word's form in the 16th century was due to association with lively and -hood.