AskDefine | Define lifeline

Dictionary Definition



1 a crease on the palm; its length is said by palmists to indicate how long you will live [syn: line of life, life line]
2 support that enables people to survive or to continue doing something (often by providing an essential connection); "the airlift provided a lifeline for Berlin"; "she offered me a lifeline in my time of grief"
3 line that raises or lowers a deep-sea diver
4 line thrown from a vessel that people can cling to in order to save themselves from drowning

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From life + line.


līf' līn'


  1. A line to which a drowning or falling victim may cling to.
  2. A means or route for transporting indispensable supplies.
  3. A source of salvation in a crisis.
  4. On the deck of a boat, a line into which one can attach himself to stay aboard on rough seas


safety line on the deck of a boat

Extensive Definition

A lifeline is a line or rope used to support a person who is in physical difficulty, such as a person who is at risk of drowning. The term may now be used to refer to several different things which draw from this original meaning to some extent.

Other uses

Lifeline Helicopter

Lifeline was Indiana's first critical care transport system in the state, with the air medical transport program began in 1979. Since that time, Lifeline has flown more than 29,500 accident-free patient transports (through October 2007). LifeLine helicopters typically fly within a 150-mile radius of Indianapolis. Airplane transport is available for less critically ill patients who are farther away from Indianapolis. Lifeline's fleet is comprised of four MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 twin-engine helicopters with an average cruise speed of 150 miles per hour.
LifeLine provides air medical transport access across Indiana and portions of Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio with bases located at:
  • Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis (N117MH)
  • Howard Regional Health System, Kokomo (N112LL)
  • Hulman Air Field, Terre Haute (N113LL)
  • Columbus Regional Hospital, Columbus (N118LL)

Community alarm units

In the United Kingdom, Lifeline refers to community alarm units, manufactured by Tunstall Group, which when linked with telecare sensors provide vulnerable people with a means of contacting help via a network of monitoring centres throughout the UK.

Lifeline Radios

The Freeplay Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian organisation based in Africa, provides targeted access to information and education through the distribution of free Lifeline Radios


Lifeline is also the name of a short regular BBC Sunday afternoon fundraising programme that asks viewers to help the unaided and reports on the work of various charities in and around the UK. Various presenters have included Cliff Michelmore and Nick Ross.

Game shows

In the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, a lifeline can be used by a contestant who is having trouble answering a question. A lifeline allows the contestant to phone a friend, ask the audience, or eliminate two of the four answer choices.

Philips Lifeline

Lifeline also refers to the name of a private, subscription-based medical alert service provided in the US and Canada by Philips Lifeline (a division of Royal Philips Electronics, which purchased Lifeline Systems, Inc. in 2006). Lifeline Systems was founded in 1974 by Dr. Andrew Dibner. Elderly subscribers wear medical alert devices on the wrist or around the neck, which when activated in the event of an emergency, automatically dial an emergency telephone number for assistance.


Lifeline is a charity that in Serbia. This charity is Lead or at least is mostly controlled by Princess Katerina of The Former Republic of Yugoslavia or Serbia.

LifeLine Ambulance Service

An ambulance service founded in Woburn, Massachusetts that operates non-emergent service to various hospitals and nursing facilities in the metropolitan Boston area.


Some telephony devices have a "lifeline" port. It is a port that's being used in case there is an electricity outage - so the device can still continue to work.

External links

lifeline in Japanese: ライフライン
lifeline in Chinese: 維生管線

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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