noun (used with a singular verb)

a field of study concerned with the ethics and philosophical implications of certain biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments, as organ transplants, genetic engineering, and care of the terminally ill.

Origin of bioethics

First recorded in 1970–75; bio- + ethics
Related formsbi·o·eth·i·cal, adjectivebi·o·eth·i·cist [bahy-oh-eth-uh-sist] /ˌbaɪ oʊˈɛθ ə sɪst/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bioethics

Contemporary Examples of bioethics

British Dictionary definitions for bioethics



(functioning as singular) the study of ethical problems arising from biological research and its applications in such fields as organ transplantation, genetic engineering, or artificial insemination
Derived Formsbioethical, adjectivebioethicist (ˌbaɪəʊˈɛθɪsɪst), 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

Word Origin and History for bioethics

also bio-ethics, coined 1970 by U.S. biochemist Van Rensselaer Potter II (1911-2001), who defined it as "Biology combined with diverse humanistic knowledge forging a science that sets a system of medical and environmental priorities for acceptable survival." From bio- + ethics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bioethics in Medicine




The study of the ethical and moral implications of new biological discoveries and biomedical advances, as in the fields of genetic engineering and drug research.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

bioethics in Science



The study of the ethical and moral implications of medical research and practice.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bioethics in Culture


The application of ethics to the science and practice of biology, especially as modern science is applied to human life and reproduction.


With the advent of cloning and research on embryonic stem cells, bioethics has become an important branch of scientific inquiry.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.