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See also: leben and lében


verschiedene Formen des Lebens — different forms of life (2.2)


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


  • IPA(key): /ˈleːbən/, [ˈleːbm̩], [ˈleːb(ə)n]
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  • Rhymes: -eːbən
  • Hyphenation: Le‧ben


Leben n (strong, genitive Lebens, plural Leben)

  1. (uncountable) gerund of leben: living
    Die Kunst des LebensThe art of living.
  2. life; being alive
    1. (uncountable, biology) a state in which organic entities such as animals, plants and bacteria have properties like metabolism, adaption and replication
      Das Leben ist nicht an das geistige Bewusstsein gebunden.Life is not dependent on mental consciousness.
    2. (uncountable, biology) the entirety of those who are in this state
      Die Erde quillt über vor Leben.Earth is full of life.
    3. (countable) the time period in which one is in this state; the time between birth and death
      Das Leben beginnt mit der Geburt und endet mit dem Tod.Life begins with birth and ends with death.
      Sowas habe ich mein Leben lang noch nicht getan.I have never done such a thing in my life.
    4. (uncountable, religion, philosophy) a state of being in touch or in line with certain metaphysical forces and principles by which biological life is governed
      Nicht jeder, der atmet, ist auch wirklich am Leben.Not everyone who breathes is really alive.
  3. (countable) life; way of life (a particular manner of behaving and passing one’s time, whether real or ideal, and whether self-chosen or not)
    Lebensstandardquality of life
    ein angenehmes Lebena comfortable life
    ein christliches Lebena Christian life
  4. (countable) biography; life; life story (an account of a person’s life, whether real or virtual)
    Das Leben der Edelgard.The life of Edelgard.
    Sein Leben weist viele Höhen und Tiefen auf.There are many ups and downs in his biography.
    Das ist ein Buch vom Leben berühmter Musiker.This is a book about the lives of famous musicians.
  5. (usually uncountable) existence; life (a position one has created for oneself, often manifested in success, prosperity, and standing)
    Frau Schmidt hat sich in all diesen Jahren ein bewundernswertes Leben aufgebaut.Mrs Schmidt has built up an admirable life in all these years.
  6. (usually uncountable) life; precious or beloved thing that someone considers fundamental to their existence
    Sie ist mein Ein und Alles, mein Leben!She is my one and only, my life!
  7. (countable, video games) a measure of successful play
    1. life; numbers of times a game can be played
      Du hast nur noch drei Leben übrig.You only have three lives left.
    2. health; hit points
  8. (youth slang) used as the object of certain verbs, often ones that are per se intransitive, for emphasis
    Chill ma’ dein Leben!Just chill, okay! (literally, “Just chill your life!”)




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

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Leben” in Duden online
  • Leben” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache