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See also: leben


verschiedene Formen des Lebens — different forms of life (2)


From Middle High German leben, from Old High German lebēn. Related to the verb leben.


  • IPA(key): [ˈleːbm̩], [ˈleːbən]
  • (file)


Leben n (genitive Lebens, plural Leben)

  1. Life, the state between birth and death.
    Das Leben beginnt mit der Geburt und endet mit dem Tod. — Giving birth is the beginning of life and death its end.
  2. (biology) Life, a status given to organic entities such as animals, plants and bacteria, having properties as metabolism, adaption and replication.
    Die Erde quillt vor Leben über. — Earth is full of life.
  3. A biography, a chain of events that determine or have determined one's life.
    Das Leben der Anne Frank. — The life (=biography) of Anne Frank.
    Sein Leben weist viele Höhen und Tiefen auf. — There are many ups and downs in his life (=biography).
  4. The existence or life one has built, often manifested in wealth and prosperity.
    Frau Schmidt hat sich ein beispielhaftes Leben in all diesen Jahren aufgebaut. — Mrs Schmidt has built up an exemplary life (=existence) in all these years.
    ein angenehmes Leben — a comfortable life (=existence)
    Lebensstandard — qualitiy of life
  5. Life, in the sense of something precious or beloved that is part of someone's existence.
    Sie ist mein Ein und Alles, mein Leben! — She's everything I've got, my life!
  6. (video games) Life, the chance of a player to play, if it is lost he loses
    Du hast nur noch drei Leben übrig. — You only have three lives left.
  7. gerund of leben: "living" (no plural)
    Die Kunst des Lebens — The art of living.

Usage notes[edit]

When referring to life in its biological sense, the plural of Leben must not be used. If the plural cannot be avoided, however, Lebensformen or Lebewesen may be taken instead.




  • (life, the state between birth and death): Tod m

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