life·blood [lifeblood lifebloods] BrE [ˈlaɪfblʌd]
NAmE [ˈlaɪfblʌd]
noun uncountable
1. ~ (of sth) the thing that keeps sth strong and healthy and is necessary for successful development
Tourism is the lifeblood of the city.
2. (literary) a person's blood, when it is thought of as the thing that is necessary for life
The wound was draining the lifeblood from him.

WordNet Dictionary:
1. the blood considered as the seat of vitality
2. an essential or life-giving force
- water is the lifeblood of India

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
n.1.The blood necessary to life; vital blood.
2.Fig.: That which gives strength and energy.
Money [is] the lifeblood of the nation.

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