[ bahy-og-ruh-fee, bee- ]
/ baɪˈɒg rə fi, bi- /

noun, plural bi·og·ra·phies.

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.

Nearby words

  1. biogeography,
  2. biographee,
  3. biographer,
  4. biographical,
  5. biographize,
  6. biohazard,
  7. bioherm,
  8. bioindustry,
  9. bioinformatics,
  10. bioinorganic

Origin of biography

From the Greek word biographía, dating back to 1675–85. See bio-, -graphy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for biography

British Dictionary definitions for biography


/ (baɪˈɒɡrəfɪ) /

noun plural -phies

an account of a person's life by another
such accounts collectively
Derived Formsbiographer, nounbiographical (ˌbaɪəˈɡræfɪkəl) or archaic biographic, adjectivebiographically, 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

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

Culture definitions for biography


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.