life span


Definition of life span 

1 : the average length of life of a kind of organism or of a material object especially in a particular environment or under specified circumstances

2 : the duration of existence of an individual

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Examples of life span in a Sentence

the average life span of house cats increase the human life span

Recent Examples on the Web

At the same time, many small genetic changes are involved in the expression of a single trait, and each change is correlated with a tiny change in the human form or life span. Brian Resnick, Vox, "How scientists are trying to predict your future with your genes," 23 Aug. 2018 Given these political realities, climate policies often have short life spans — and this can be a major barrier to effective climate policy. Johannes Urpelainen, Washington Post, "The Paris agreement’s emissions goals may be in trouble, with or without U.S. participation," 1 June 2018 The life spans of spiders vary considerably from species to species. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The World’s Oldest Known Spider Has Died at Age 43," 1 May 2018 Burning hydrogen gives stars their brightness and long life spans, lasting up to millions of years. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "Are Brown Dwarfs Planets or Failed Stars?," 24 Mar. 2018 That means, of course, that some parts of the world see much shorter life spans, while others enjoy far greater longevity. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "5 Places Where People Live the Longest and Healthiest Lives," 15 Feb. 2018 Photo: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images Her life spanned. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "The Secrets of a Great First Spouse," 19 Apr. 2018 What if a longer life span means other, negative health tradeoffs, or simply unexpected side effects and experiments gone wrong? Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "This Secretive Harvard Startup is Trying to Reverse Aging," 13 May 2018 In the auto industry, a 10-year model run is akin to the life span of Mithridates. Al Haas,, "Redesigned after 10 years, new Buick Enclave is worth the wait," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'life span.' 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 span

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for life span

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for life span

The first known use of life span was in 1831

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More Definitions for life span

life span


English Language Learners Definition of life span

: the amount of time that a person or animal actually lives

life span

\ˈlīf-ˌspan \

Medical Definition of life span 

1 : the duration of existence of an individual

2 : the average length of life of a kind of organism or of a material object especially in a particular environment or under specified circumstances

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More from Merriam-Webster on life span

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with life span

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for life span Encyclopedia article about life span

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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