lon·​gev·​i·​ty | \ län-ˈje-və-tē, lȯn-\

Definition of longevity

1a : a long duration of individual life The members of that family are noted for their longevity.
b : length of life a study of longevity
2 : long continuance : permanence, durability longevity in office is also an asset— Spencer Parratt

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Did You Know?

As living conditions improve and the science of medicine advances, the longevity of the average American has increased greatly, from about 45 years in 1900 to over 75 years today. But the most impressive human longevity is nothing compared to the 400-year lifespan of an ocean clam found near Iceland, or the 5,000-year lifespan of the bristlecone pine, a tree found in the western U.S. We may use longevity to talk not only about actual lives but also of the useful "life" of things: the life of your car's tires or the shingles on your roof, for example.

Examples of longevity in a Sentence

His longevity was remarkable considering he had been so sick when he was a child. Better medical treatment has led to greater longevity. a study of human longevity The longevity of a car's tires depends on how the car is driven. They're trying to increase the product's longevity.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Weather patterns play a huge role in smoke’s longevity. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Scientists fly through plumes of wildfire smoke to unravel its mysteries," 21 Nov. 2018 But as anyone who’s ever dated can tell you, people are likely to marry their match (or close to it) in characteristics like wealth and education, which play an obvious role in longevity. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Genetics play less of a role in lifespan than we thought," 8 Nov. 2018 Lifelong interest in longevity Anti-aging research is one of today’s hottest fields. Karen Weintraub, BostonGlobe.com, "A doctor wages personal and professional battles against aging," 23 June 2018 But the genesis of Peshkin’s interest in longevity goes back 43 years, to the streets of Moscow. Karen Weintraub, STAT, "An anti-aging researcher faces the loss of his inspiration: his 96-year-old father," 20 June 2018 Smedberg, 57, is second only to Pepper in longevity and is one of the first openly gay people elected to public office in Virginia. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "Ousted Alexandria lawmakers had been stung by Metro entrance, meal-tax issues," 13 June 2018 That’s because annuity rates have been hurt even more severely in recent years by new life expectancy tables that account for increases in longevity. Janet Kidd Stewart, charlotteobserver, "The Journey: Long wait for better interest on savings may be coming to an end | Charlotte Observer," 23 May 2018 Last year marked another milestone in longevity for Roesel. Adam Turer, Cincinnati.com, "Ryle coach Pat Roesel: 'It’s not just my 500 wins; it’s the program’s 500th win.'," 1 May 2018 The actuaries' study basically adds to a large and robust body of evidence showing a gulf in longevity between rich and poor. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "More evidence that raising the Social Security retirement age is no problem for the rich, but tough on the poor," 25 Apr. 2018

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

1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for longevity

Late Latin longaevitas, from Latin longaevus long-lived, from longus long + aevum age — more at aye

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Statistics for longevity

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for longevity

The first known use of longevity was in 1569

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English Language Learners Definition of longevity

: long life : the fact of living for many years

: length of life

: the length of time that something or someone lasts or continues


lon·​gev·​i·​ty | \ län-ˈjev-ət-ē, lȯn- \
plural longevities

Medical Definition of longevity

1 : a long duration of individual life attributed his longevity to daily exercise and a healthy diet
2 : length of life studies in longevity

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More from Merriam-Webster on longevity

Spanish Central: Translation of longevity

Nglish: Translation of longevity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of longevity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about longevity

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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