life cycle


life cycle
life cycle
The term is first recorded in 1873 in its biological meaning ‘the series of changes in the life of an organism’, and this is the only meaning given in the current edition (2006) of the Concise Oxford Dictionary. During the course of the 20c, however, it developed extended meanings, and in the 1940s the anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote of the modern man:

• Here he is, only in middle age, and his life is over…no new fields to conquer…So while he is not out of a job…the very nature of the life-cycle in America is such that he feels like an old man —Male and Female, 1949.

The term is now found in the context of other human activities involving origin, development, change, and eventual decline and death, such as business and economics:

• In principle the task of the project manager is to plan, organize and lead a group of people to complete a project life cycle —S. A. Bergen, 1990

• As accountants, business advisers and financial consultants we provide a fully integrated service covering all assurance and advisory needs to the entrepreneur at every stage of the business life cycle —Birmingham Post, 2007.

This is a natural development of meaning when a cycle of events is involved, but care should be taken not to use the term in contexts in which the simple word life or another word such as process would do.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Life cycle — refers to: * Biological life cycle ** Honey bee life cycle * Life cycle of a nation * New product development * Product life cycle management * LIFECYCLE Fundraising * Software life cycle * Adobe LifeCycle …   Wikipedia

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  • life cycle — life .cycle n all the different levels of development that an animal or plant goes through during its life …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • life cycle — life ,cycle noun count 1. ) the series of changes that happen to an animal or plant during its life 2. ) the length of time that something lasts or remains useful …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • life cycle — ► NOUN ▪ the series of changes in the life of an organism including reproduction …   English terms dictionary

  • life cycle — life cycle. См. жизненный цикл. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • life cycle — n. 1. the series of developmental changes in form undergone by a particular type of organism from its earliest stage to the recurrence of the same stage in the next generation 2. any series of changes like this …   English World dictionary

  • life cycle — 1. Biol. 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… …   Universalium

  • life cycle — The lifetime of a product or business, from its creation to its demise or transformation. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * life cycle UK US (also lifecycle) noun [C, usually singular] MARKETING, PRODUCTION ► the series of changes that a… …   Financial and business terms