- "I just love scanning for lifeforms. Lifeforms... you tiny little lifeforms... you precious little lifeforms... where are you?"
- "Our mission as Starfleet officers is to seek out new lifeforms so we can learn about one another."
A lifeform was simply any living entity or organism. The study of lifeforms was known as biology, and, when dealing with alien lifeforms, could be further sub-categorized into xenobiology and xenology.
A lifeform was not necessarily organic — which was to say carbon-based. Nevertheless, Federation scans for lifeforms often looked only for organic life. In at least one known case, this limited view of what constituted a lifeform had disastrous consequences for a Federation terraforming project. (TNG: "Home Soil")
Starfleet lifeform classes and types
Other types of life
- Biomimetic lifeform