lose one's life

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lose one's life (third-person singular simple present loses one's life, present participle losing one's life, simple past and past participle lost one's life)

  1. (euphemistic) To die, especially to be killed during involvement in an activity or in some other undertaking.
    • 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “Mildendo, the Metropolis of Lilliput, Described, together with the Emperor’s Palace. []”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. [] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume I, London: [] Benj[amin] Motte, [], OCLC 995220039, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput):
      The people so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life.
    • 1818, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, Letter 1:
      I have no ambition to lose my life on the post-road between St. Petersburgh and Archangel.
    • 1893, William Butler Yeats, "The Friends of the People of Faery" in The Celtic Twilight:
      “[H]is own wife lost her life with an accident that come to a horse that hadn't room to turn right with a harrow between the bush and the wall.”
    • 1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World, ch. 2:
      “Do you think, Sir, that you could possibly send me on some mission for the paper? . . . anything that had adventure and danger in it. . . .”
      “You seem very anxious to lose your life.”
    • 2006 Dec. 30, Unmesh Kher, "By the Numbers: The U.S. Death Toll," Time:
      [E]nemy fighters killed 2,320 of the troops who lost their lives in Iraq through December 2.