- 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.
- a series of stages, as childhood and middle age, that characterize the course of existence of an individual, group, or culture.
- any similar series of stages: the life cycle of a manufactured product.
Origin of life cycle
First recorded in 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for life cycle
The life-cycle of Moniliformis moniliformis (Bremser, 1811), Acanthocephala.The Biotic Associations of Cockroaches
Louis M. Roth
There is some doubt as to the different stages in the life-cycle of this species.Freshwater Sponges, Hydroids & Polyzoa
The asexual part of the life-cycle was first described by Th.
On the other hand, the life-cycle is, in general, fairly simple.
The life-cycle or generation is one year, the winter being passed in the pupa stage.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.