Definition of biology in English:



mass noun
  • 1The study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origin, and distribution.

    • ‘She is currently taking a year off from Sofia University, where she studied biology and genetics.’
    • ‘Most, but by no means all, are recent graduates in a medicine - related subject such as biology, anatomy or physiology.’
    • ‘Many fields in biology have progressed by the concentrated study of a select group of model systems.’
    • ‘In this way he provides a theoretical framework for the volume and shows connections to other fields of study also, such as biology and chemistry.’
    • ‘In the rest of this chapter we first look at the history of embryology - as the study of developmental biology has been called for most of its existence.’
    • ‘Lucy will be taking A-level examinations in maths, chemistry, biology and geography this year.’
    • ‘She is now hoping to study maths, chemistry, biology, physics and history.’
    • ‘His father told him to study something useful, so he studied chemistry and biology.’
    • ‘This was especially so in the fields of geology, biology, botany and organic chemistry.’
    • ‘At the other end of the spectrum, organismal biology and ecology are making a modest comeback.’
    • ‘The technique could have implications for studying cell and developmental biology.’
    • ‘An A level student at Sheldon School, Edward is studying biology, physics, chemistry and maths.’
    • ‘My high school assignments included physical science, biology, and chemistry.’
    • ‘The emphasis is on horticultural aspects of reproductive biology and pollination ecology.’
    • ‘The team has also carried out basic studies in parasite biology to study new molecules.’
    • ‘Another, newer field, called systems biology or systems biomedicine, is emerging.’
    • ‘Gina was a really interesting person - studying biology and chemistry to go to Med School and then join the Army to travel the world.’
    • ‘He managed to walk away with seven O-levels and started studying A-level biology, physics and chemistry.’
    • ‘The numbers studying chemistry and biology, meanwhile, have been enjoying a steady rise.’
    • ‘It has applications outside of the realm of biology, in fields like genetic algorithms and economics.’
    1. 1.1 The plants and animals of a particular area.
      ‘the biology of the Chesapeake Bay’
      • ‘Each of the presenters at the ICPRB conference, “Human Influences on the Biology of the Potomac River,” gave the basin a letter grade for different aspects of the river, based on their expertise.’
      • ‘He discovered fish that had never been seen; he was one of the pioneer explorers of the biology of Lake Superior.’
      • ‘Involves extensive field experiences including biology of deserts, mountains, islands, or tropical forests.’
      • ‘This data is not sufficient to properly assess impacts to the local biology given the probable long-term use of the shoal as a sand resource area.’
      • ‘We are out for pleasure, to check the biology of the area, and perhaps to get some pictures of marine species we have not seen before.’
    2. 1.2 The physiology, behaviour, and other qualities of a particular organism or class of organisms.
      ‘human biology’
      • ‘This says that the human mind is a ‘blank slate’ wholly unconstrained by any kind of human biology.’
      • ‘Race and ethnicity are neither natural nor given: they have no basis in human biology.’
      • ‘For this reason, disjunctions may appear between features of human biology and behavior.’
      • ‘Our difficulty in combating this behaviour may arise because we are struggling against nature and basic human biology.’
      • ‘Much of human biology is still speculative, and its interaction with environment is intricate.’
      • ‘What if the government charged him to set up a world class institute of marine biology?’
      • ‘Wouldn't it seem that human biology would oppose the ubiquity of religion?’
      • ‘Some are already revealing deep secrets of human biology and pointing the way toward new medical treatments.’
      • ‘Minno studied the pollination biology of A. curtissii, but little is known of its autecology.’
      • ‘Institutions should be molded around human biology rather than the other way around.’
      • ‘In space it is possible to identify and isolate some unique characteristics of human physiology and biology.’
      • ‘In universities and research institutions around the world, male fertility is marking a new frontier in human biology.’
      • ‘Whale Study Week includes boat trips as well as classes in whale biology and general marine ecology.’
      • ‘So many new additions to the human biology in a short time have implications for efficient body function.’
      • ‘Her TEE subjects were history, English, human biology and discrete mathematics.’
      • ‘Apparently her class is doing marine biology, and the teacher's an old colleague of Mom's.’
      • ‘Although I aced the exam and the class, the only biology I learnt that semester was animal behaviour.’
      • ‘Once they meet they become a distinct cell cluster unlike any other in human biology.’
      • ‘Even human biology and the human body are not timeless essences but concepts that arrive to us through the lens of language and to which we accede on learning to talk.’
      • ‘The complexity of human biology will not prevent scientists from figuring it out in enormous detail.’


Early 19th century: coined in German, via French from Greek bios ‘life’ + -logy.