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Lifelong vs. Lifetime: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Lifelong describes something lasting for a person's entire life, while lifetime refers to the duration of a person's life or the period during which something exists.
Lifelong vs. Lifetime

Key Differences

Lifelong is an adjective that describes something lasting for the entirety of a person's life, often implying a deep, enduring quality. In contrast, lifetime, used as a noun, refers to the total length of time that a person lives or an object exists.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
Lifelong often conveys a sense of personal commitment or involvement, as in lifelong learning or a lifelong passion. Lifetime, however, is more about the span of time itself, as in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or calculating the lifetime of a product.
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Dec 01, 2023
When someone refers to a lifelong friend, it suggests a friendship that has endured throughout all stages of life. On the other hand, a lifetime achievement award recognizes accomplishments over the entire span of an individual's career.
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Dec 01, 2023
Lifelong can also indicate a continuous process or development, like a lifelong journey of discovery. Lifetime, in another usage, can be about the duration of something's functionality, such as the lifetime warranty of a product.
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Dec 01, 2023
A lifelong dream implies a dream held consistently over a person's life, showing personal significance and continuity. A lifetime's work, however, sums up all the work done or achievements made over a person's entire lifespan.
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Adjective
Noun
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Dec 01, 2023

Contextual Use

Describes duration in a person’s life
Refers to the span of a person’s life or an object's existence
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Dec 01, 2023

Implication

Personal commitment or continuous involvement
Total span or duration of existence
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Example Usage

Lifelong passion, lifelong friend
Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, lifetime achievement
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Focus

Continuity and enduring quality
Totality and span of time or existence
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Lifelong and Lifetime Definitions

Lifelong

Enduring for a person's whole life.
His lifelong devotion to science led to many discoveries.
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Dec 01, 2023

Lifetime

Used to describe an event or experience as once in a person's life.
Their trip to Africa was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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Dec 01, 2023

Lifelong

Characteristic of something continuing for a lifetime.
He pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a writer.
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Lifetime

The duration of a person's or thing's existence.
The lifetime of the product exceeded our expectations.
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Lifelong

Lasting or continuing through the entire life.
She had a lifelong interest in music, starting from childhood.
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Lifetime

The entire extent of a person's life.
She achieved a great deal in her lifetime.
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Dec 01, 2023

Lifelong

Reflecting a commitment or involvement spanning a person's life.
Her lifelong commitment to charity work was admirable.
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Dec 01, 2023

Lifetime

A period characterized by particular events or experiences.
The technological advancements in his lifetime were remarkable.
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Dec 01, 2023

Lifelong

Persistent throughout someone's life.
They maintained a lifelong friendship since their school days.
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Lifetime

The period during which something is functional or exists.
The bridge was built to last a lifetime.
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Lifelong

Continuing for a lifetime.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

The period of time during which an individual is alive.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifelong

Extending for the entire duration of life.
They were lifelong friends; they met in elementary school and ended their lives in the same rest home.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

The period of time during which property, an object, a process, or a phenomenon exists or functions.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifelong

Lasting or continuing through life.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

Continuing for a lifetime; lifelong.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifelong

Continuing through life;
A lifelong friend
From lifelong habit
His lifelong study of Greek art
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

Occurring or measured over a person's active career
A lifetime batting average.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

The duration of the life of someone or something.
A project that will take many human lifetimes to complete
The operational lifetime of an aircraft component
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

A long period of time.
I've been waiting a lifetime for a train.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

The time that life continues.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lifetime

The period during which something is functional (as between birth and death);
The battery had a short life
He lived a long and happy life
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Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What's a lifelong goal?

A lifelong goal is an objective someone strives to achieve throughout their life.
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Is lifelong a compound word?

Yes, lifelong is a compound word formed from "life" and "long."
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

What does lifetime mean?

Lifetime refers to the duration of a person's life or existence of an object.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can lifetime refer to products?

Yes, it can refer to the operational lifespan of products.
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Is lifetime always about humans?

No, it can refer to the duration of anything's existence.
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Dec 01, 2023

What does lifelong mean?

Lifelong describes something that lasts or is valid for a person's entire life.
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Can lifelong be used for inanimate objects?

Generally, it's used for living beings, but metaphorically it can be applied to inanimate objects.
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Dec 01, 2023

What's a lifetime warranty?

It's a guarantee that lasts for the product's lifespan.
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Can an interest be lifelong?

Yes, interests can be lifelong if sustained through a person's life.
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Dec 01, 2023

Does lifelong imply a good quality?

It often does but can be neutral, depending on context.
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Can a career be lifelong?

Yes, a career can be lifelong if one pursues it for their whole life.
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Can lifelong be used figuratively?

Yes, it's sometimes used figuratively to emphasize duration.
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Dec 01, 2023

Does lifetime warranty mean forever?

It means for the product's expected lifespan, not necessarily forever.
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Is lifelong always positive?

Not necessarily; it can describe negative aspects too, like a lifelong illness.
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Dec 01, 2023

What's a once-in-a-lifetime event?

An event that's so unique it's unlikely to occur again in one's life.
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Can lifetime achievements be surpassed?

Yes, as it refers to achievements up to the present time.
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Dec 01, 2023

How do you use lifetime in a sentence?

"She achieved much in her lifetime."
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Does lifetime mean the best time?

Not necessarily; it simply denotes the duration of existence.
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Do lifetime friends always stay friends?

Ideally, but it's not guaranteed; it indicates a long-lasting friendship.
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Can lifetime be plural?

Yes, as in "over several lifetimes."
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Dec 01, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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