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all one's life's worth



Alternative formsEdit


all one's life's worth

  1. (idiomatic) A momentous matter; a very serious risk; a difficult task or situation.
    • 1889, Edward L. Wilson, "From Sinai to Shechem," The Century Magazine, vol. 37, p. 208 (Google preview):
      Many of its streets are cavern-like, for they run under the houses. . . . There is no regularity of style about them, and it is all one's life is worth to try to find the way among them without a guide and a torch.
    • 1907, B. M. Bower, chapter 7, in The Happy Family:
      "I'm going to take a much-needed nap—and it'll be all your life's worth to let me miss that train!"
    • 1907, George Jean Nathan and Henry Louis Mencken (eds.), The Smart Set: A Magazine of Cleverness, vol. 23, p. 23 (Google snippet view):
      "It's all one's life is worth to board one of these confounded cable-cars."
    • 1912, Acton Davies and Charles Frederic Nirdlinger, chapter 15, in The First Lady in the Land:
      "Fancy planting a capitol in this Godforsaken spot. Fairly reeks of ague and alligators and things. 'Tis all one's life's worth to put foot out of doors."
    • 1962, District of Columbia Appropriations, U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 217 (Google snippet view):
      It is particularly bad out in front of the House Office Building between 5 and 7 o'clock in the evening. It is all your life is worth to get a cab then.
    • 2007, Elridge Trott, Gathering at Vantage, →ISBN, p. 242 (Google preview):
      "[I]t's about all your life's worth to go out into that blizzard, even for just a few feet."
    • 2013, Anne Hassett, The Sojourn, →ISBN, p. 13 (Google preview):
      "I'm afraid you need to wait until the women say you can come in. It would be all your life's worth to go bustin in now."

Usage notesEdit

  • Usually preceded by some form of "It is".