an innate mechanism of the body that regulates its rhythmic and periodic cycles, as that of sleeping and waking.
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Origin of biological clock
First recorded in 1950–55
Also called body clock.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for biological clock
an inherent periodicity in the physiological processes of living organisms that is not dependent on the periodicity of external factors
the hypothetical mechanism responsible for this periodicity
See also circadian
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
Medicine definitions for biological clock
An innate mechanism in living organisms that controls the periodicity or rhythm of various physiological functions or activities.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for biological clock
[ bī′ə-lŏj′ĭ-kəl ]
An internal system that controls an organism's circadian rhythms, the cycles of behavior that occur regularly in a day. In mammals, the biological clock is located near the point in the brain where the two optic nerves cross. In many birds, the biological clock is located in the pineal gland. In protists and fungi, the individual cells themselves regulate circadian rhythms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Culture definitions for biological clock
The innate rhythm of behavior and body activity in living things. A twenty-four-hour cycle of body activity, which operates in some organisms, is called the circadian rhythm.
Although the term biological clock refers to all innate timing mechanisms, it is often used when describing certain body functions that are subject to this rhythm, such as the loss of fertility with age.
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.