Definition 2023


life cycle

See also: lifecycle


Alternative forms


life cycle (plural life cycles)

  1. (biology) The course of stages through which an organism passes from fertilized zygote until maturity, reproduction, and death.
    • 2013 September-October, Kayri Havens, Sandra Henderson, Citizen Science Takes Root”, in American Scientist:
      Plants’ life cycles are an attractive subject of study for citizen science because they are relatively easy to discern. In fact, the name for the field in which we work, phenology, literally means “the science of appearance.” The word was coined just a few years after Thoreau made his phenological observations, from the Greek phaino (to show or appear) and logos (to study).
  2. (by extension) The useful life of a product or system; the developmental history of an individual or group in society.