life (lIf)

1. Vitality, the essential condition of being alive; the state of existence characterized by such functions as metabolism, growth, reproduction, adaptation, and response to stimuli. 2. Living organisms such as animals and plants. [A.S. lif]
half-l. See half-life.
postnatal l. that interval of l. after birth; in man, usually divided into periods: neonatal, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
prenatal l. that interval of l. between conception and birth; in humans, usually divided into embryonic and fetal periods.
sexual l. in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, the specifically erotic or sexual interests, fantasies, inclinations, and conduct of the patient.
vegetative l. the simple metabolic and reproductive activity of humans or animals, apart from the exercise of conscious mental or psychic processes.


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