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 periodicals archive ?
Also, AMI's Women's Active Lifestyle Group (Shape, Fit Pregnancy, Natural Health) reaches more than 10 million women online who are in the prime of their life, the midst of their success, and at the peak of their spending power.
For those diagnosed with the cancer many are young adults who, like Gemma, are unexpectedly flattened in the prime of their life."
So much of what we treasure about our town is the past, but as I look at these trees, they are well past the prime of their life. Many parts are dead.
"I was expecting there to be loads of older couples as that is the general portrayal of people who attend these parties but everyone was young and in the prime of their life.
The five shortlisted schools showcased how families are destroyed and the social fabric negatively affected when individuals fall prey to narcotics in the prime of their life.
It strikes without warning and afflicts healthy individuals, often in the prime of their life. Victims behave normally leading up to their death and there is frequently no sign of extra strain on their bodies.