Is there any short word(s) for "remaining time before death"?

something like "remaining lifespan" or something shorter than "lifetime left"

or something like "lifespan minus age" or "deadline minus current time"

  • 4
    The term typically used is "life expectancy".
    – fixer1234
    Mar 6, 2017 at 5:05
  • 2
    I think the informal short way to say it is some form of have [time remaining]. For example, The doctor says I have at most 6 months. The words to live is implied.
    – jxh
    Mar 6, 2017 at 5:21
  • 1
    The 'single-word-requests' tag states To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. YOU MUST INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE demonstrating how the word would be used. Please use the "phrase-requests" tag instead if you seek more than just a single word. Please edit to include your sample sentence and explain the context you wish to use the word in. Also, I suggest you include the phrase-request tag as well or instead as you don't seem to be particularly looking for a 'single' word.
    – Spagirl
    Mar 6, 2017 at 10:37
  • It's not for sentence, it's for a game term/skill/effect
    – Kokizzu
    Jul 7, 2021 at 12:35

4 Answers 4


"to live" is a common short form for a specific amount of time as in: "I have four months to live." It's used in technical non-medical senses too. For example DNS, the system by which the URL's you type into your browser are converted to the actual numerical addresses which are required to get your browser to it's proper destination. Each DNS record contains a TTL value - which stands for Time To Live.

For a non-specific amount of time, people often use "time left". As in: "She only has so much time left"


If you're talking about older age, then that is sometimes referred to (poetically) as one's "waning years" or the "winter" of one's life. Twilight imagery is commonly used.

"Remaining life expectancy" would be a more forensic usage -- medical, actuarial, insurance situations.

Other options: Senior years, retirement, end of life, golden years


"Prognosis" is the only word that I can conjure for such a task. This word could be used in the medical field, particularly for giving someone an estimation of their survival time for, say, lung cancer. However, "prognosis" is primarily functioned, from my understanding, as follows [REFER TO BOTTOM OF MESSAGE]. (Not necessarily just for time remaining before death, but primarily the general outcome of illness or a condition. So, perhaps a synonym of prognosis such as "outlook", "forecast" or "projection". It seems a bit too corny to me, I prefer prognosis. I'd love to learn a better word for this instance, since "prognosis" only works, wholly, when used in the correct sense.


"Prognosis"- [ the likely course of a disease or ailment. "the disease has a poor prognosis"

a forecast of the likely course of a disease or ailment. "it is very difficult to make an accurate prognosis"

a forecast of the likely outcome of a situation. "gloomy prognoses about overpopulation" ]

  • 1
    Prognosis only really works in the situation where there is a disease or ailment. You wouldn't use it to describe a healthy person's life expectancy so it's not the general term that the question is after. Aug 3, 2022 at 7:53
  • Yes, I believe I already clarified this point in it's entirety. Another word for the general expected lifespan of an individual would be quite interesting, one without the pre-concieved notion of illness or a condition of sorts.
    – Dereck K.
    Aug 3, 2022 at 7:56

The best I’ve come up with is “past the veil”. As in “They are already past the veil.” This in reference to the phrase “Death’s black viel” from england. “Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree. And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful wind. These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black veil,” (King Henry the VI, Act 5 Scene 2).

The only serious one I can recall is “three months until their terminal date.”

A few more overly dramatic/poetic turns of phrase include “In deaths shadow”, “kiss of death”, “on deaths door”, “at hell’s gate”(more often a military pre-battle usage) , “valley of the shadow of death”.

  • Not the best with the this sights rules and regulations yet. If you can explain the downvote I would appreciate it.
    – PCSgtL
    May 5, 2017 at 14:40
  • You seem to be providing phrases to do with death in general, and not actually answering the specific question "What is a word for remaining time before death?"
    – AndyT
    May 5, 2017 at 16:07
  • @ AndyT The phrases literaly mean they are dead. However they can be used prior to death, to show how close they are to death or how little time they have remaining. The Shaekspear quote provided is Warwick giving his personal death speach while still alive.
    – PCSgtL
    May 5, 2017 at 16:25
  • To clarify, Warwick is directly refering to how little time he has befor death.
    – PCSgtL
    May 5, 2017 at 16:33
  • 1
    This is my point. The OP is not asking for a phrase meaning "close to death", they are asking for a phrase meaning "remaining time to death". It would help if the OP had provided an example sentence (as required for single-word-requests, {sigh}), but I'm fairly sure he wants to use something like "John's doctor predicted his {remaining time to death} was only 6 months". The only one of your suggestions which might possibly fit that is "{time} until their terminal date".
    – AndyT
    May 5, 2017 at 16:34

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