life support

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See also: life-support



life support (uncountable)

  1. An artificial system designed to provide oxygen in an environment that lacks oxygen.
  2. (medicine) Maintenance of vital functions of a critically ill or comatose person or a person undergoing surgery.
  3. (medicine) The equipment and special procedures used for life support.
  4. (figuratively) Means of sustaining existence or continuation of something, usually in an artificial manner when it should have changed or terminated in its natural environment.
    • 2011, Francis Tapon, The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us, p. 135
      As we've seen, Belarus is a Soviet time capsule that continues only because Russia is keeping it on life support.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Used with the preposition on: "the patient is on life support".


Further reading[edit]