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[bahy-og-ruh-fee, bee-] /baɪˈɒg rə fi, bi-/
noun, plural biographies.
a written account of another person's life:
the biography of Byron by Marchand.
an account in biographical form of an organization, society, theater, animal, etc.
such writings collectively.
the writing of biography as an occupation or field of endeavor.
Origin of biography
From the Greek word biographía, dating back to 1675-85. See bio-, -graphy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for biography
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I propose to continue this biography, and include the whole in book form.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • Forkel's biography of Bach is the only authority for this story.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • He has divided his biography into three parts, entitled—‘Faith, Hope, Charity.’

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • He once began a review of George Eliot's biography, but left it unfinished.

  • What says our author about "biography, autobiography, and history?"

    A Dish Of Orts George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for biography


noun (pl) -phies
an account of a person's life by another
such accounts collectively
Derived Forms
biographer, noun
biographical (ˌbaɪəˈɡræfɪkəl), (archaic) biographic, adjective
biographically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for biography

1680s, probably from Latin biographia, from Late Greek biographia "description of life," from Greek bio- "life" (see bio-) + graphia "record, account" (see -graphy). Biographia was not in classical Greek (bios alone was the word for it), though it is attested in later Greek from c.500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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biography in Culture

biography definition

The story of someone's life. The Life of Samuel Johnson, by James Boswell, and Abraham Lincoln, by Carl Sandburg, are two noted biographies. The story of the writer's own life is an autobiography.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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