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life cycle

noun
1.
Biology. the continuous sequence of changes undergone by an organism from one primary form, as a gamete, to the development of the same form again.
2.
a series of stages, as childhood and middle age, that characterize the course of existence of an individual, group, or culture.
3.
any similar series of stages:
the life cycle of a manufactured product.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for life cycle
  • To time an invention properly, you need to consider its entire life cycle.
  • They actually need for us to eat them to complete their life cycle.
  • Complicating the mystery is the salmon's complex life cycle.
  • The weirdest part of all, its strange life cycle is meant to infect rodents.
  • The garden was designed using plants that native butterflies need to complete their life cycle.
  • The reproductive life cycle of large mammals is well understood.
  • Describes the life cycle of the bug and how it spreads.
  • The life cycle of a book, from writer to agent to publisher to buyer to writer, and other steps in between.
  • We thought it would be interesting for someone in admissions to have some continuity in the life cycle of the student experience.
  • Scientists now believe the spot is a highly unusual gas cloud that could help explain the life cycle of quasars.
British Dictionary definitions for life cycle

life cycle

noun
1.
the series of changes occurring in an animal or plant between one development stage and the identical stage in the next generation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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life cycle in Medicine

life cycle n.

  1. The characteristic course of developmental changes through which an organism passes from its inception as a fertilized zygote to its mature state during which another zygote may be produced.

  2. A progression through a series of differing stages of development.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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life cycle in Science
life cycle  
The series of changes in the growth and development of an organism from its beginning as an independent life form to its mature state in which offspring are produced. In simple organisms, such as bacteria, the life cycle begins when an organism is produced by fission and ends when that organism in turn divides into two new ones. In organisms that reproduce sexually, the life cycle may be thought of as beginning with the fusion of reproductive cells to form a new organism. The cycle ends when that organism produces its own reproductive cells, which then begin the cycle again by undergoing fusion with other reproductive cells. The life cycles of plants, algae, and many protists often involve an alternation between a generation of organisms that reproduces sexually and another that reproduces asexually. See more at alternation of generations.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for life cycle

in biology, the series of changes that the members of a species undergo as they pass from the beginning of a given developmental stage to the inception of that same developmental stage in a subsequent generation

Learn more about life cycle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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7
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