livelihood

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English liflode, from Old English līflād (course of life, conduct), from līf (life) +‎ lād (course, journey), later altered under the influence of lively, -hood. Compare life, lode.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

livelihood (plural livelihoods)

  1. (obsolete) The course of someone's life; a person's lifetime, or their manner of living; conduct, behaviour. [10th-17th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book I.3:
      his name is sir Ector, & he is a lord of fair lyuelode in many partyes in Englond & Walys [...].
  2. A person's means of supporting himself. [from 14th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V.4:
      But now, when Philtra saw my lands decay / And former livelod fayle, she left me quight […].
    • Addison
      the opportunities of gaining an honest livelihood
    • South
      It is their profession and livelihood to get their living by practices for which they deserve to forfeit their lives.
    • 2013, Matthew Claughton, The Guardian, (letter), 25 Apr 2013:
      The legal profession believes that client choice is the best way of ensuring standards remain high, because a lawyer's livelihood depends upon their reputation.
  3. (now rare) Property which brings in an income; an estate. [from 15th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts V:
      Then sayde Peter: Ananias how is it that satan hath fillen thyne hert, thatt thou shuldest lye unto the holy goost, and kepe awaye parte off the pryce off thy lyvelod [...]?
  4. (obsolete) liveliness; appearance of life
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]