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

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 Local Bubble formed from a series of supernovae, or powerful explosions that take place when stars collapse at the end of their life span, reports NBC News. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Jan. 2022 The average expected life span fell to 77, a drop of 1.8 years from 2019, with covid-19 becoming the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2021 In 2018, a Black American had an average life span of 74.7 years. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2021 There’s cultural precedence for reimagining the life span, Mr. Scott pointed out: the modern concept of both the teenage years and retirement as distinct phases of life emerged only in the last century. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Resulting from a random, typically nonhereditary genetic mutation, the disease affects about one in every 10,000 live births in the U.S. and can severely impact a person’s mental and physical development, and life span. Amanda Blanco,, 19 Sep. 2021 Research has also found that living in areas with poor air quality in general can shorten someone’s life span, and that families who live closer to highways have a higher prevalence of asthma. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Sep. 2021 The expiration date on this kind of practitioner-centric methodology is the same as the professional life span of the practitioner. Christopher White, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 To constrain the frequency of speech, the size or composition of an audience, the spread of any single speech act, or the life span of such posts is entirely accordant with the creative and technical underpinning of computational media. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 22 Oct. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of life span was in 1831

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life span

life story

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Life span.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on life span Encyclopedia article about life span


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