the science of life or living matter in all its forms and phenomena, especially with reference to origin, growth, reproduction, structure, and behavior.
the living organisms of a region: the biology of Pennsylvania.
the biological phenomena characteristic of an organism or a group of organisms: She is studying the biology of worms, especially in regard to their reproductive behavior.

Origin of biology

From the German word Biologie, dating back to 1805–15. See bio-, -logy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for biology

Contemporary Examples of biology

Historical Examples of biology

  • They know everything about biology, but almost nothing about life.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Why this should be so is one of the most profound problems of biology.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • His progress, and the progress of thousands of other researchers in biology, must have been watched.


    Robert Sheckley

  • What are the results in the individual which biology should aim to bring to every student?

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • There is no department of learning so well capable of doing this thing as biology.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

British Dictionary definitions for biology



the study of living organisms, including their structure, functioning, evolution, distribution, and interrelationships
the structure, functioning, etc, of a particular organism or group of organisms
the animal and plant life of a particular region
Derived Formsbiologist, 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 biology

1819, from Greek bios "life" (see bio-) + -logy. Suggested 1802 by German naturalist Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (1776-1837), and introduced as a scientific term that year in French by Lamarck.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

biology in Medicine




The science of life and of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution. It includes botany and zoology.
The life processes or characteristic phenomena of a group or category of living organisms.
Related formsbi•olo•gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

biology in Science



The scientific study of life and of living organisms. Botany, zoology, and ecology are all branches of biology.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

biology in Culture


The study of life and living systems.

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.