For the life of sb
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British pronunciation/fəðə lˈaɪf ɒv ˌɛsbˈiː/
American pronunciation/fɚðə lˈaɪf ʌv ˌɛsbˈiː/
01

used when one is incapable of understanding or remembering a particular thing

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for the life of {sb} definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "for the life of someone" and when to use it?

The origin of the idiom "for the life of someone" is unclear, but it has been used since at least the early 19th century. It likely evolved from earlier expressions in English that emphasized the importance or difficulty of preserving someone's life. This expression is used to express a sense of frustration, puzzlement, or inability to accomplish a task or recall information, especially when trying very hard.

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Example
examples
She couldn't figure out how to use the software for the life of her.
We couldn't understand the math problem for the life of us.
He couldn't remember the name of the movie for the life of him.
They couldn't locate the source of the noise for the life of them.
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Meaning of "For the life of {sb}"
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