the prime of life

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the prime of life

One's happiest, most successful time; the period when one has the most energy, vitality, and potential. Often structured as "the prime of (one's) life." My father was in the prime of life when he was diagnosed with cancer. It's many a man and woman who, in old age, looks back on the prime of their lives with bittersweet nostalgia.
See also: life, of, prime
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

prime of life

The best years of one's life, when one is at the peak of one's powers, as in She was in the prime of life when she began to lose her sight. The related phrase in one's prime can be applied to objects as well as persons. For example, The roses were in their prime when you last saw them. In both idioms prime means "first in quality or character." [Early 1700s] Also see past one's prime.
See also: life, of, prime
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.

prime of life, the

The best years of one’s life, at the peak of one’s powers. The idea that there should be a particular time of flourishing is an ancient one. Plato in The Republic defined it as a period of about twenty years in a woman’s life and thirty in a man’s. Poets, among them Robert Herrick and John Milton, generally equated one’s youth with one’s prime. However, the eccentric schoolteacher-heroine of Muriel Spark’s novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (and the 1969 motion picture based on it) declared the years of her rapidly advancing middle age to be her prime.
See also: of, prime
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
Was this the prelude of her coming back to me in dreams; in her perfected womanhood, in the young prime of her life?
He made his daughter Eleanor into his chief confidante, and the prime of her life was being rapidly consumed by her father.
My mother died, worn out in the prime of her life. And not long afterward the strolling company, brought to the end of its resources by a succession of bad seasons, was broken up.
Now, she's a global success in what she calls the 'prime of her life.'"
She said that most of cervical cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage when a woman is in the prime of her life, taking care of her children and family.
At Birmingham crown court, Judge Stephen Morris said: "Melanie was a healthy woman in the prime of her life. She was subjected to a brutal attack without warning."
Then I read about it in the newspapers and saw how very beautiful she was and thought "what an absolute waste of a young woman at the prime of her life that should have had everything to live for".
Annie CH MY heart goes out to the family of this young lady taken in the prime of her life by the idiotic actions of these two fools.
She was in the prime of her life and had so much to look forward to."
A beautiful girl in the prime of her life, only 28, Michelle was a model, journalist and sprinter but she tragically died of cervical cancer
4 The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) MAGGIE Smith won an Oscar for her portrayal of writer Muriel Spark's teacher who wants to inspire her young "gels" in the prime of her life.
It struck her in the prime of her life; she had to fight this chronic illness in order to keep the life she had worked so hard for.
"Still Alice" is a tale of an unfortunate woman struck with the affliction in the prime of her life, the debut novel of Lisa Genova, who shows she has done her research on the subject and shows a deft knowledge of the disease.
The whole country was shocked by the senseless killing of a young woman in the prime of her life. In this programme the grief-stricken dad talks about his daughter, and the enormous hole her loss has left in his life.
She was a special person, in the prime of her life, a priceless member of the team here and her absence has left a terrible void in the kennel.