The Plural of Life: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Here is a brief explanation of how to use life and the plural form of the word in the English language. Let’s go over the meaning of the word life, its plural form, the history and origin of the word, synonyms, and examples of the word used in a sentence. Thanks to this English grammar lesson, Next time you go to use the word life along with other plural nouns, you will be an expert. 

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What Is the Definition of the Word Life?

Some different meanings of the singular form of the noun life:

  • the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body
  • a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings
  • an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction
  • the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual
    • children … are the joy of our lives — Agnes S. Turnbull
  • one or more aspects of the process of living
    • sex life of the frog, family life at home
  • spiritual existence transcending physical death
    • his craving … for the release into the life to come — Rodney Gilbert
  • the period from birth to death
  • a specific phase of earthly existence
    • adult life
  • the period from an event until death
    • a judge appointed for life
  • a sentence of imprisonment for the remainder of a convict’s life
  • a way or manner of living
    • the life of the colonists
  • livelihood
    • The fishing village drew its life from the sea.
  • a state of living
  • specifically: person
    • many lives were lost in the disaster
  • an animating and shaping force or principle
    • the life of the constitution … has been not logic but experience — F. A. Ogg & Harold Zink
  • spirit, animation 
    • saw no life in her dancing
  • the form or pattern of something existing in a particular place
    • painted from still life
  • the period of duration, usefulness, or popularity of something
    • the expected life of the batteries
  • the period of existence (as of a subatomic particle)
  • a property (such as resilience or elasticity) of an inanimate substance or object resembling the animate quality of a living being
  • living beings (as of a particular kind or environment)
    • forest life
  • human activities
  • animate activity and movement
    • stirrings of life
  • the activities of a given sphere, area, or time
    • the political life of the country
  • one providing interest and vigor
    • life of the party
  • an opportunity for continued viability
    • gave the patient a new life
  • something resembling animate life
    • a grant saved the project’s life
  • of or relating to animate being
  • lifelong
    • a life member
  • using a living model
    • a life class
  • of, relating to, or provided by life insurance
    • a life policy

What Is the Correct Plural of Life

The correct plural form is lives. Although lives is typically used as a third-person singular verb, it is the same spelling when you are using it as the plural form of life. The correct usage does not include any apostrophes. 

The History and Origin of the Word

From Middle English – lif. It can be traced back to the 12th century.

Synonyms of the Word Life

  • Bio
  • Biography 
  • Memoir
  • Baby 
  • Being
  • Body
  • Continuance
  • Date
  • Duration

Examples of the Word in Context


Now you are an expert on all things related to the word life. Next time you need to write about life, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to do it efficiently.