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 The more recent uptick in the number of programs is partly due to wider public awareness about students on the autism spectrum, said Arianna Esposito, director of life span services and supports at Autism Speaks. Chrissie Thompson, USA TODAY, "On the dean's list, with autism: Colleges add autism support services, but they're pricey," 27 Nov. 2019 Even with this short life span, these pieces are still quite recognizable and available. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Wilmington hosts Antiques, Dolls and Bears: Yenke Peddler antiques," 2 Oct. 2019 On the level of an entire organism, the aging process is much more complex, though, and the length of telomeres does not necessarily correlate with life span, says Chen. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "'Missing link' between pond scum and humans discovered, holds promise for cancer research," 20 Nov. 2019 As one more dramatic example, thanks to remarkable advances in antiretroviral drugs, most Americans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can now look forward to an almost normal life span. Dr. Francis S. Collins, Time, "The Director of the NIH Lays Out His Vision of the Future of Medical Science," 24 Oct. 2019 That allowed them to strip away all the factors that affect longevity — such as health, lifestyle and genetics — to isolate the effect of location on life span. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "How moving to the right place can prolong your life," 28 June 2019 How would your answer differ for a more normal life span of 100 years? Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘When Probability Meets Real Life’," 2 Mar. 2018 The state is currently moving forward with a $153 million project to strengthen the Mixmaster’s bridges and extend their life span by 25 years. Christopher Keating,, "Connecticut has 6 of the 100 worst traffic bottlenecks in the country. Here’s where they are, and how Gov. Ned Lamont would fix them.," 25 Oct. 2019 Its 22-day life span ended 280 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Hurricanes don’t ask for directions: a list of the weirdest storm paths," 27 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for life span

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The first known use of life span was in 1831

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Statistics for life span

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Life span.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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 How to pronounce life span (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for life span

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with life span Encyclopedia article about life span

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