for dear life

(redirected from for one's life)

for dear life

Also, for one's life. Desperately, urgently, so as to save one's life. For example, When the boat capsized, I hung on for dear life, or With the dogs chasing them they ran for their lives, or She wanted that vase but I saw it first and hung on to it for dear life. These expressions are sometimes hyperbolic (that is, one's life may not actually be in danger). The first dates from the mid-1800s, the variant from the first half of the 1600s. Also see for the life of one.
See also: dear, life

for dear (or your) life

as if or in order to escape death.
1992 Independent I made for the life raft and hung on for dear life.
See also: dear, life

for dear ˈlife

,

for your ˈlife

because you are in danger: Run for your life! A tiger has escaped from the circus!They were clinging for dear life to the edge of the rock.
See also: dear, life

for dear life

Desperately or urgently: I ran for dear life when I saw the tiger.
See also: dear, life