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[bahy-oh-tek-nol-uh-jee] /ˌbaɪ oʊ tɛkˈnɒl ə dʒi/
the use of living organisms or other biological systems in the manufacture of drugs or other products or for environmental management, as in waste recycling: includes the use of bioreactors in manufacturing, microorganisms to degrade oil slicks or organic waste, genetically engineered bacteria to produce human hormones, and monoclonal antibodies to identify antigens.
Origin of biotechnology
First recorded in 1940-45; bio- + technology
Related forms
[bahy-oh-tek-ni-kuh l] /ˌbaɪ oʊˈtɛk nɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
[bahy-oh-tek-nl-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌbaɪ oʊˌtɛk nlˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
biotechnologically, adverb
biotechnologist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for biotechnology


(in industry) the technique of using microorganisms, such as bacteria, to perform chemical processing, such as waste recycling, or to produce other materials, such as beer and wine, cheese, antibiotics, and (using genetic engineering) hormones, vaccines, etc
another name for ergonomics
Derived Forms
biotechnological (ˌbaɪəʊˌtɛknəˈlɒdʒɪkəl) adjective
biotechnologically, adverb
biotechnologist, noun
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 biotechnology

also bio-technology, 1947, "use of machinery in relation to human needs;" 1972 in sense of "use of biological processes in industrial production," from bio- + technology.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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biotechnology in Medicine

biotechnology bi·o·tech·nol·o·gy (bī'ō-těk-nŏl'ə-jē)

  1. The use of microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeasts, or biological substances, such as enzymes, to perform specific industrial or manufacturing processes. Applications include production of certain drugs, synthetic hormones, and bulk foodstuffs.

  2. The application of the principles of engineering and technology to the life sciences.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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biotechnology in Science
  1. The use of a living organism to solve an engineering problem or perform an industrial task. Using bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons to clean up an oil spill is one example of biotechnology.

  2. The use of biological substances or techniques to engineer or manufacture a product or substance, as when cells that produce antibodies are cloned in order to study their effects on cancer cells. See more at genetic engineering.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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