Meaning of game of life in English:

game of life

Pronunciation /ɡeɪm əv ˈlʌɪf/


  • 1With the. Life likened to a game, especially in being a competitive social venture in which personal qualities, strategy, experience, or luck may influence one's chance of success.

  • 2Mathematics Computing
    Also with capital initials. A particular form of cellular automaton based on a two-dimensional rectilinear array of cells, with two possible states for each cell and a very simple set of rules determining the behaviour of the cells.

    With the two cell states treated as ‘live’ and ‘dead’ the game can be regarded as modelling changes in a population, hence the name. It can generate a wide variety of interacting, self-reproducing patterns, and has been the subject of numerous computer graphic simulations.


Early 18th century; earliest use found in Charles Johnson (?1679–1748), playwright and poet. From game + of + life.