The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism. The characteristic state or condition of a living organism. Living organisms considered as a group: plant life; marine life. A living being, especially a person: an earthquake that claimed hundreds of lives. The physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence: the artistic life of a writer. The interval of time between birth and death: She led a good, long life. The interval of time between one's birth and the present: has had hay fever all his life. A particular segment of one's life: my adolescent life. The period from an occurrence until death: elected for life; paralyzed for life. Slang A sentence of imprisonment lasting till death. The time for which something exists or functions: the useful life of a car. A spiritual state regarded as a transcending of corporeal death. An account of a person's life; a biography. Human existence, relationships, or activity in general: real life; everyday life. A manner of living: led a hard life. A specific, characteristic manner of existence. Used of inanimate objects: "Great institutions seem to have a life of their own, independent of those who run them\u201d ( New Republic). The activities and interests of a particular area or realm: musical life in New York. A source of vitality; an animating force: She's the life of the show. Liveliness or vitality; animation: a face that is full of life. Something that actually exists regarded as a subject for an artist: painted from life. Actual environment or reality; nature. Of or relating to animate existence; involved in or necessary for living: life processes. Continuing for a lifetime; lifelong: life partner; life imprisonment. Using a living model as a subject for an artist: a life sculpture. as big as life Life-size.