life cycle

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life cycle

the series of changes occurring in an animal or plant between one development stage and the identical stage in the next generation
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Life cycle

The consecutive, interlinked stages of a product or structure and its fixtures, beginning with raw materials acquisition and manufacture and continuing with its fabrication, manufacture, construction, and use, and concluding with any of a variety of recovery, recycling, or waste management options.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

life cycle

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Life Cycle


or cycle of development, the group of developmental phases through which an organism passes in attaining maturity and becoming capable of giving rise to the next generation (thus completing the life cycle).

The length of a life cycle is determined by the number of generations that develop during the course of a year or the number of years required to complete the cycle; it also depends on the length of the period of dormancy or diapause. In animals one may distinguish a simple life cycle, in which there is direct development of individuals, and a complex life cycle, with metamorphosis or alternation of generations. In development with metamorphosis the life cycle can be observed in the development of a single individual. For example, in the swine tapeworm, ovum → oncosphere → cysticercus → adult tapeworm; in the cockchafer, ovum → larva → pupa →imago.

In development with alternation of generations or of the modes of reproduction the life cycle can be observed in two or more individuals belonging to different generations, until the initial form reappears. For example, in the Scyphozoa, ovum → planula → scyphistoma → ephyra → medusa; in the liver fluke, ovum → miracidium → rediae → cercaria → adolescaria → adult worms; in aphids, ovum → stem-mother → migrants sexupara → bisexual insects. Thus, the unit in studying the life cycle may be either the individual ontogeny or a series of alternating ontogenies. In higher plants one may distinguish annual, biennial, and perennial life cycles. The alternation of the gametophye and sporophyte generations is characteristic of the life cycles of many lower plants and ferns. In parasitic fungi the life cycle is similar in its complexity to the cycles of certain parasitic worms. In rust molds the life cycle is complex; there are forms that yield aeciospores, urediospores, and teleutospores, as well as a basidial stage. In the protozoans the most complex life cycles are found in the Sporozoa (for example, in Gregarinida and Haemosporidia).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

life cycle

[′līf ‚sī·kəl]
The functional and morphological stages through which an organism passes between two successive primary stages.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

life cycle

lierne ribs
That period of time over which a building or piece of equipment can be reasonably expected to carry out its intended function.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

system development life cycle

The sequence of events in the development of an information system (application), which requires mutual effort on the part of both the user and technical staff. See agile software development and information processing cycle.

feasibility study
general design
detail design
functional specifications





The System Development Life Cycle
From information requirements to final implementation, the system development life cycle is an ongoing process. As the business changes, information requirements change, and the cycle continues.

system life cycle

The phases in the life of an information system, which includes its initiation, development, maintenance and eventual demise. The length of the cycle depends on the nature and volatility of the business, as well as the software development tools used to generate the applications and databases. An information system that is revised over and over throughout the course of many business changes often becomes structurally weak. Programming changes become difficult to apply to applications that have been patched dozens of times. At some point, it is practical to start over from scratch. See application lifecycle management and ISO/IEC 12207.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
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