live on borrowed time

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live on borrowed time

To live or exist in a temporary and/or tenuous position, which may come to an end suddenly and abruptly. Accidents and disease can strike so unexpectedly that it feels like we're all living on borrowed time.
See also: borrow, live, on, time
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

live on borrowed time

Fig. to exist only because of good fortune; to live on when death was expected. The doctors told him he was living on borrowed time. You are living on borrowed time, so make the best of it.
See also: borrow, live, on, time
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

on borrowed time, live

Outlive reasonable expectations, as in Our twenty-year-old car is living on borrowed time, or The vet said our dog is living on borrowed time. This expression alludes to time borrowed from death. [Late 1800s]
See also: borrow, live, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

living on borrowed time

continuing to survive against expectations (used with the implication that this will not be for much longer).
See also: borrow, living, on, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be/live on borrowed ˈtime


1 (of a person who is seriously ill) live longer than the doctors expected: The doctors say he’s living on borrowed time.
2 be doing something that other people are likely to soon stop you from doing: The government is on borrowed time (= they are not likely to be in power for long).
See also: borrow, live, on, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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