Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal.

When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Define Life

The condition which distinguishes active animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, functional activity and the continual change preceding death.
Concise Oxford Dictionary, English

Myô, Inochi:
The totality of one's existence including karma. the totality of one's existence including karma.
Teachings of Nichiren Daishônin, Japanese

Complex physico-chemical systems whose two main peculiarities are 1) storage and replication of molecular information in the form of nucleic acid, and 2) the presence of (or in viruses perhaps merely the potential for) enzyme catalyst.
Penguin Dictionary of Biology, US

1 a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body
b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings
c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction
Life noun (plural lives) capacity for growth, functional activity, and continual change until death.
Merriam-Webster OnlineEnglish

1. The aggregate of the animal functions which resist death. Bichat.
2. The state of animated beings, while they possess the power of feeling and motion. It commences in contemplation of law generally as soon as the infant is able to stir in the mother's womb and ceases at death.
3. For many purposes, however, life is considered as begun from the moment of conception in ventre sa mere. Vide Foetus. But in order to acquire and transfer civil rights the child must be born alive. Whether a child is born alive, is to be ascertained from certain signs which are always attendant upon life. The fact of the child's crying is the most certain. There may be a certain motion in a new born infant which may last even for hours, and yet there may not be complete life. It seems that in order to commence life the child must be born with the ability to breathe, and must actually have breathed. 1 Briand, Med. Leg. 1ere partie, c. 6, art. 1.
A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.

The average number of hours a bulb will burn.
Lumber terms dictionaryUS

I have always been interested in how different cultures, peoples, professions and philosophies look upon life. I want to collect as many definitions for life from as many varied sources and in as many languages as possible. I hope eventually all major points of views will be represented here.
Note: This is a running post.

No comments:

Post a Comment