Life-sized or Life size horse?


Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello amigos!:)

The king ordered to make a "life-sized horse or life size horse" sculpture.

Which one shall I use? and What does it mean?


  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    If a depiction of something is "life-size," it is the same size as the object in real life.

    A life-size/life-sized statue of a horse is the size of a real, living horse.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hyphen or not, it is your choice, or the choice of your client's style guide.

    The OED gives lifesize with and without a hyphen.
    Examples of life-sized are hyphenated, but the most recent is ~40 years old.

    Hyphenated terms tend to loose lose their hyphens in time, unless there are clear reasons to retain them.
    Last edited:

    I studied Spanish.

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    While the OED might be accurate, it is certainly not the standard English resource for American English, except for maybe people in academia. I consulted Merriam Webster's and found life-size and life-sized. Merriam Webster's would be a more appropriate resource if you are in the U.S. or have an American English-speaking audience.

    As for what to use outside of the U.S., I would trust the judgment of the other posters.

    But, regardless of what you use, it sounds like you will technically be correct.


    Senior Member
    Random House Unabridged offers life-size and life-sized. American Heritage does the same.

    Princeton's WordNet presents lifesize and life-sized.

    It appears that there is no difference in AE and BE for life-sized.

    The implication in post #10 that the OED does not take account of AE usage is obviously
    wrong. Any and all of the reliable AE dictionaries note BE usage when it is different from AE, and vice versa.

    does have a hyphen. :rolleyes:


    USA, English
    The first thing that came to mind was "life-size". Google seems to show a lot more hits for "life-size", but I doubt anyone would put up much of a fuss if you used one of the other versions.