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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of life span in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

According to the American Miniature Horse Association, the animals often stand between 2 and 3 feet tall and weigh between 150 and 250 pounds, with an average life span of at least 30 years. Fox News, "Miniature horse spotted by amused passenger on American Airlines flight," 2 Sep. 2019 Longer life span More and more Americans are living longer than before, and many of them are keen on working beyond what were once considered retirement years, Brown said. Pratik Joshi, The Denver Post, "Graying workforce, low unemployment changing way employers look for workers," 2 Sep. 2019 But the idea that people weren’t willing to commit to a rabbit’s 10-year life span really bothered him. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Island hopping: Bloomington teen makes biz out of taking bunnies to Mississippi islands," 30 Aug. 2019 His broadly ranging work life spanned some 40 different jobs and even a brief stint in the Army., "Bruce McBride," 11 Aug. 2019 On average, their life span is 70 years, and the animals often weigh between 510 to 1,100 pounds, according to the National Geographic. Eric Todisco,, "Marium, the 'Sweetheart' Dugong from Thailand, Dies After Ingesting Plastic," 19 Aug. 2019 The palm trees of Didion’s Los Angeles are reaching the end of their 100-year life span, their deaths accelerated by fungi and insects that prey easily on the non-native species. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "How palm frond print went from the French Riviera to Target," 12 July 2019 As a general rule, the more massive the star, the shorter its life span. Catherine Zuckerman, National Geographic, "Everything you wanted to know about stars," 20 Mar. 2019 Balance Class: Balance problems limit your activities and undermine your independence, disrupt gait, increase risk for falls and shorten your life span., "Calendar: Learn about beekeeping Tuesday in Lake Forest," 4 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of life span

1831, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about life span

Statistics for life span

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for life span

The first known use of life span was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with life span

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

Comments on life span

What made you want to look up life span? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!