life buoy

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English Wikipedia has an article on:
A life buoy

Alternative forms[edit]


From the way it can save someone's life by buoying them up so that they do not drown.


life buoy (plural life buoys)

  1. (Britain) A buoyant object (most commonly torus-shaped) that is used as a life-saving device by keeping a person afloat.
    Synonyms: (US) life preserver, life ring, lifesaver
    • 1910, Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office:
      A spherical life buoy having an air chamber formed therein, an entrance opening communicating with the interior of said life buoy, air inlet and exhaust pipes extending exteriorly therof, a perforated housing for each of said pipes, a dome secured to teh periphery of said life buoy and covering said housings, said dome being perforated, and means for supporting said life buoy upon the deck of a vessel.
    • 1981, Compilation of Regulations Related to Mineral Resource Activities:
      At least four approved ring life buoys shall be placed on each manned platform.
    • 2007, Daniel E. Blaney, Old Orchard Beach:
      Also, a life buoy was attached to the fuselage.
    • 2012, Sinking of the Titanic: Eyewitness Accounts:
      He had on a life buoy and a life preserver. He clung there a moment and then he slid off again.
  2. (Britain, metaphoric) Something that rescues one from difficulties.
    • 2001, Suzanne Jill Levine, Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions, page 166:
      Fearing that he might become permanently sewn into the Air France uniform he put on every morning, Manuel regarded Mario's faith in him as a life buoy.
    • 2006, Peter van Kemseke, Towards an Era of Development, page 43:
      Above all, the Marshall Plan was a life buoy for the then sinking French economy.
    • 2008, Fleur Yano, Collected Writings of Flora Belle Jan, page 89:
      I but pity him, who, losing me, found the bright stars dimmed, And frantically seized you as a life buoy.
    • 2012, Holly Reese, Rising from the Abyss, page 116:
      I was so exhausted and weak that several times, I nearly collapsed in the store. My shopping cart became my life buoy as I hung on to it and stubbornly kept going.

Related terms[edit]