- a combining form meaning “life” occurring in loanwords from Greek (biography); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (bioluminescence).
Origin of bio-
before a vowel bi-
- indicating or involving life or living organismsbiogenesis; biolysis
- indicating a human life or careerbiography; biopic
Word Origin and History for bio-
word-forming element, from Greek bio-, comb. form of bios "one's life, course or way of living, lifetime" (as opposed to zoe "animal life, organic life"), from PIE root *gweie- "to live" (cf. Sanskrit jivah "alive, living;" Old English cwic "alive;" Latin vivus "living, alive," vita "life;" Middle Persian zhiwak "alive;" Old Church Slavonic zivo "to live;" Lithuanian gyvas "living, alive;" Old Irish bethu "life," bith "age;" Welsh byd "world"). Equivalent of Latin vita. The correct usage is that in biography, but in modern science it has been extended to mean "organic life."
- Life; living organism:biology.
- Biology; biological:biophysics.