shelf life(redirected from a shelf-life)
The length of time that something is viable or useful. Milk has a very short shelf life, as it tends to expire quickly. I'm hoping that this product will have a very long shelf life and be useful for years to come.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
If something has a particular shelf life, it will only last for that length of time, rather than continuing forever. A large proportion of small businesses have a very short shelf life. Our aim is to build a policy that will have a shelf life of more than 30 months. Note: The shelf life of a food, drink, or medicine is the length of time it can be kept before it is too old to sell or use.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012