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bio

[ bahy-oh ]
/ ˈbaɪ oʊ /
Informal.
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noun, plural bi·os.
adjective
biological: a bio control service using praying mantises to reduce the population of garden pests.
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Origin of bio

1945–50; by shortening; as adj., independent use of bio-, taken as a free form

Other definitions for bio (2 of 2)

bio-

a combining form meaning “life” occurring in loanwords from Greek (biography); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (bioluminescence).
Also especially before a vowel, bi-.

Origin of bio-

Combining form of Greek bíos life; akin to Latin vīvus living, Sanskrit jīvas.See quick
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE BIO-

What does bio- mean?

The combining form bio– is used like a prefix meaning “life.” It is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

The form bio– comes from Greek bíos, meaning “life.” The Latin cognate of bíos is vīta, “life,” which is the source of words such as vital. Find out more at our entry for vital.

What are variants of bio-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, bio– becomes bi, as in biome. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article for bi-.

Examples of bio-

An example of a word you may have encountered that features bio– is biography, “a written account of another person’s life.” Biography comes from Greek biographía, which uses the equivalent of the form in the language.

We know bio– means “life,” while the graphy portion of the word refers to “writing,” from Greek –graphia. Biography literally translates to “life writing.”

What are some words that use the combining form bio-?

What are some other forms that bio- may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form logy is used to name branches of science or areas of study. With this in mind, what does biology literally mean?

How to use bio in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bio (1 of 2)

bio
/ (ˈbaɪəʊ) /

noun plural bios
short for biography

British Dictionary definitions for bio (2 of 2)

bio-

before a vowel bi-


combining form
indicating or involving life or living organismsbiogenesis; biolysis
indicating a human life or careerbiography; biopic

Word Origin for bio-

from Greek bios life
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

Medical definitions for bio

bio-

pref.
Life; living organism:biology.
Biology; biological:biophysics.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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