biology

English

Etymology

A classical compound (modern coinage), with components derived from Ancient Greek βίος (bíos, bio-, life) + -λογία (-logía, -logy, branch of study, to speak). The sibling cognates came into various European languages c. 1800 from a New Latin coinage biologia; the term *βίολογία (*bíología) did not exist in Ancient Greek. Since the advent of the scientific era, reanalyzable as a compound using the combining forms bio- + -logy.

Pronunciation

Noun

biology (countable and uncountable, plural biologies)

  1. The study of all life or living matter.
    • 2012 January 1, Robert M. Pringle, “How to Be Manipulative”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, page 31:
      As in much of biology, the most satisfying truths in ecology derive from manipulative experimentation. Tinker with nature and quantify how it responds.
  2. The living organisms of a particular region.
    • 1893, “Prizes for original work with the microscope”, in Proceedings of the American Microscopical Society, volume 14, page 38:
      The object of these prizes is to stimulate and encourage original investigation by the aid of the microscope in the biology of North America, and, while the competition is open to all, it is especially commended to advanced students in biology in such of our universities and colleges as furnish opportunity for suitable work.
  3. The structure, function, and behavior of an organism or type of organism.
    the biology of the whale

Synonyms

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Meronyms

Derived terms

Translations

See also

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