life cycle


Definition of life cycle 

1 : the series of stages in form and functional activity through which an organism passes between successive recurrences of a specified primary stage

3 : a series of stages through which something (such as an individual, culture, or manufactured product) passes during its lifetime

Examples of life cycle in a Sentence

the life cycle of a shark

Recent Examples on the Web

The episode begins with the life cycle of the ceremony, of sorts., "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, Episode 10 Recap: This One Hits Too Close To Home, You Guys," 20 June 2018 Valuation and year of birth: Valuations will fluctuate over the life cycle of any bull or bear market. Barry Ritholtz,, "Ranking the factors that help or hurt your investment returns," 14 June 2018 Mercy boasts a unique farm-to-table program where children can be there for the full life cycle of their crops and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Kelsey Butler,, "Mercy Montessori is helping students grow with unique programs," 8 June 2018 The questions about societal issues will not go away even beyond the life cycle of this particular story. Zach Berman,, "Thoughts on the cancelled White House visit, Carson Wentz's charity softball game, and OTAs | Early Birds," 6 June 2018 For lobsters in the earliest stage of their life cycle, however, the impacts of warming waters are less well understood. New York Times, "Climate Change Brought a Lobster Boom. Now It Could Cause a Bust.," 21 June 2018 At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton used the notion of metamorphosis — as in the life cycle of scarab beetles and butterflies that begin as one thing and end up as something quite different — as a way of exploring hybrid dressing. Adam Tschorn,, "Paris Fashion Week trend takeaway: pops of purple, silver belles, giant jackets, winter florals and haute hybrids," 9 Mar. 2018 Rain is necessary at this point in the plant’s life cycle as the plants produce pollen on the tassel, according to Rose. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford corn crop delayed by spring rain, challenged by summer heat," 9 July 2018 The parasites that cause malaria set up a complex life cycle in the human body. NBC News, "These volunteers want to get malaria. The goal? A better vaccine.," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'life cycle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of life cycle

1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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The first known use of life cycle was in 1855

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More Definitions for life cycle

life cycle


English Language Learners Definition of life cycle

biology : the series of stages through which a living thing passes from the beginning of its life until its death

life cycle


Medical Definition of life cycle 

1 : the series of stages in form and functional activity through which an organism passes between successive recurrences of a specified primary stage

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More from Merriam-Webster on life cycle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with life cycle

Spanish Central: Translation of life cycle Encyclopedia article about life cycle

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having a pattern of small flowers

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