noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. Biology, Statistics. biostatistics.
  2. biometry(def 1).
  3. the process by which a person's unique physical and other traits are detected and recorded by an electronic device or system as a means of confirming identity: Scanning of the human iris is a reliable form of biometrics.

Origin of biometrics

First recorded in 1900–05; biometr(y) + -ics
Related formsbi·o·met·ric, bi·o·met·ri·cal, adjectivebi·o·met·ri·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for biometrics

Historical Examples of biometrics

  • In the Appendix reference is made to various publications, mostly inexpensive, which deal with biometrics.

    Parenthood and Race Culture

    Caleb Williams Saleeby

Word Origin and History for biometrics

"application of mathematics to biology," 1902, from biometric (also see -ics); slightly earlier in this sense was biometry (1901), which was coined by Whewell and used by him and others with a sense of "calculation of life expectancy" (1831).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

biometrics in Culture


The measuring and analysis of such physical attributes as facial features and voice or retinal scans. This technology can be used to define an individual's unique identity, often for security purposes.


Software is available that can match faces of individuals videotaped on the street to the picture of a suspected criminal or terrorist in a database. The use of biometrics is likely to increase in the future as security concerns become more of a priority for both governments and corporations following the September 11 attacks (2001).
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.