life-or-death


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

life-or-death

1. Involving or pertaining to the risk or possibility that someone may die. (Used prenominally.) As a police officer in this neighborhood, you end up facing life-or-death situations on a regular basis.
2. Extremely serious or of dire consequences; of imperative importance. We've got some life-or-death decisions to make at the next board meeting that will determine the fate of the company.