Definition of life-and-death in English:


(also life-or-death)


  • Deciding whether someone lives or dies; vitally important.

    ‘life-and-death decisions’
    • ‘Data availability is important in medical situations where life-and-death decisions are based on the most-current data.’
    • ‘They have neither lived important lives, undergone genuine hardship nor struggled with life-and-death questions.’
    • ‘We travel, then, in part just to shake up our complacencies by seeing all the moral and political urgencies, the life-and-death dilemmas we seldom have to face at home.’
    • ‘But this may be an acceptable inconvenience, considering the life-and-death importance of a functional alarm.’
    • ‘Most of us wonder how we would respond if we were faced with a life-and-death decision of this kind.’
    • ‘Undoubtedly, one's beliefs influence how one approaches life-and-death dilemmas, especially euthanasia.’
    • ‘Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.’
    • ‘He's an ex-military man and he knows about life-and-death situations.’
    • ‘His mood was darkly apocalyptic, seeing everything in life-and-death terms.’
    • ‘For more than 70,000 years, humans lived outside, where life-and-death threats were a constant reality.’
    • ‘That would be understandable, given the fact that it is a life-and-death kind of situation.’
    • ‘That would improve the lot of the farmers in a life-and-death situation.’
    • ‘We have people here that deal in life-and-death situations.’
    • ‘Their life-and-death struggle was caught on tape, too.’
    • ‘To have one of our two major parties so utterly detached from life-and-death reality is a serious problem in our public life, a dangerous flaw in our national strength.’
    • ‘Firefighters say this would mean removing vital crew from the specialist appliances needed for life-and-death situations.’
    • ‘In the new Europe, history and its interpretations have real life-and-death consequences.’
    • ‘I've used this phrase lately, about serious things, like life-and-death issues and war’
    • ‘Worldviews do have life-and-death consequences.’
    • ‘There are more women in charge of agencies that deal with life-and-death emergencies here than in any other major metropolitan city in the nation.’
    vital, of vital importance, crucial, critical, urgent, pivotal, momentous, of great moment, important, all-important, key, serious, grave, significant, decisive, far-reaching, historic, weighty, consequential, of great consequence, epoch-making, apocalyptic, fateful, portentous
    earth-shattering, world-shattering, earth-shaking, world-shaking
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/ˈˌlīf ən ˈdeTH/