The stages in the life of a plant or animal make up what
is called the life cycle. The word "cycle," just
like in bicycle, refers to something that is in a circle.
The stages in a life cycle repeat from one stage in life to
the next, until they come around full circle.
Think of the life cycle of a human being. First the baby
develops inside the mother's uterus. The next stage after
birth is called infancy, followed by childhood, and then adolescence
(the teenage years).
Adulthood is the stage at which physical growth of the body
is complete. Adults can become mothers and fathers and have
children. Old age or the later years are the last stage in
the human life cycle.