Involving or ending in life or death: a mongoose in a life-and-death battle with a cobra. (adjective)
Vitally important: a life-and-death struggle between union and management. (adjective)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "life-and-death" in a sentence
"Some expressions of Romanticism were of such stress-inducing, life-and-death intensity that they led followers to be diagnosed with clusters of symptoms named after the artworks that caused them."
"The refusal of the Court to recognize new constitutional rights on life-and-death issues is also apparent in other contexts where vulnerable individuals were denied essential constitutional protection."
"In the 1930s, when the Depression made competition over jobs and housing a life-and-death contest, many Italian Americans began to heed the calls to distance themselves from “bad” Americans."