Words to Live By: Bio

Are you ready to learn the facts of life? Then review these words from the Greek root bio, meaning "life" or "way of living."

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. amphibian
    cold-blooded vertebrate living on land but breeding in water
    As an evolutionary biologist, I normally study performance trade-offs in reptiles and amphibians—for example, how swimming performance of tadpoles influences jumping ability when they become frogs.Slate (Jan 15, 2019)
  2. amphibious
    operating or living on land and in water
    The company also purchased new enclosed amphibious vehicles manufactured for the river tour.Seattle Times (Jul 30, 2018)
  3. antibiotic
    a substance used to kill microorganisms and cure infections
    With cheap, abundant and effective antibiotics at hand, people in the developed world became complacent about controlling infection.Salon (Nov 17, 2018)
  4. autobiography
    a book or account of your own life
    "It's an autobiography. The story of my life, so far. There's lots still happening every day, so I'm just trying to keep up with...well, myself."The Sky at Our Feet
  5. biodegradable
    capable of being decomposed
    Given the difficulties of getting products to the correct composting facilities, companies are increasingly experimenting with products they describe as biodegradable and hence capable of breaking down in oceans or landfills.Wall Street Journal (Jan 22, 2019)
  6. biodiversity
    the diversity of plant and animal life in a habitat
    A paradise of biodiversity, Madagascar is home to more than 80 chameleon species.Nature (Apr 18, 2018)
  7. biographer
    someone who writes an account of a person's life
    It’s an understatement to say that Stieglitz and O’Keeffe are well-covered subjects, meaning that any prospective biographer needs a new angle to justify yet another book on their work or lives.Seattle Times (Mar 11, 2019)
  8. biographical
    of or relating to an account of a person's life
    His royal septuagenarian highness is profiled in the new biographical special “Prince Charles at 70.”Los Angeles Times (Mar 22, 2019)
  9. biography
    an account of the series of events making up a person's life
    My biography is being written with my authorization and full cooperation by Richard Rhodes, a writer I greatly admire.New York Times (Feb 28, 2019)
  10. biohazard
    hazard to humans or the environment from biological agents
    PCR tests are notorious for cross-contamination errors, and the blood of actual Ebola victims is extremely dangerous and must be treated as a biohazard.New York Times (Oct 25, 2014)
  11. biology
    characteristic life processes of living organisms
    To further observe the biology of sharks at these depths, O'Sullivan said the team plans to return to the site next summer, hoping to catch some of the eggs hatching.Fox News (Nov 13, 2018)
  12. biomass
    the total amount of living matter in a given unit area
    In biology, biomass pyramids chart the relative number or weight of one class of organism compared to another organism within the same ecosystem.The Verge (Dec 8, 2018)
  13. biome
    major ecological community with distinct climate and flora
    Rainforests are the oldest living biomes on Earth and contain roughly half the known species of life.The Guardian (Jun 17, 2018)
  14. bionic
    having one or more electromechanical body parts
    I was fitted with the arm a few months later, and aged 13, became the youngest person in the world with a bionic arm.The Guardian (Nov 15, 2018)
  15. biopsy
    the removal and examination of tissue from a living body
    It was there that scientists collected three biopsy samples, tiny bits of skin harmlessly taken from the whales with a crossbow dart, from a group of Type D killer whales, the agency said.Seattle Times (Mar 7, 2019)
  16. biosphere
    the regions of the Earth where living organisms exist
    We study the atmosphere, the ocean, the biosphere—and what our human actions are doing to them.Scientific American (Oct 18, 2018)
  17. biotic
    of or relating to living organisms
    Grasslands are protected by “ biotic crusts” that consist of loose soil held together by tiny cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and green algae.Slate (Dec 14, 2015)
  18. microbe
    a minute life form ; the term is not in technical use
    Now, researchers are studying how these blazes affect the tiniest of forest organisms—including bacteria and fungi—and finding that some microbes thrive after an intense wildfire.Scientific American (Jan 16, 2019)
  19. microbiology
    the branch of biology that studies microorganisms and their effects on humans
    Many of the deadliest diseases known to mankind are due to bacteria and viruses, and dozens of them are now entirely preventable thanks to the sciences of microbiology and immunology.Scientific American (Mar 21, 2019)
  20. symbiosis
    the relation between two interdependent species of organisms
    The term symbiosis is often used synonymously with mutualism, a relationship in which all partners benefit.Nature (Apr 2, 2019)
  21. symbiotic
    of organisms living together, especially to mutual advantage
    For example, the majority of plant roots establish symbiotic relationships with fungi or bacteria living in the soil that both siphons them nutrients and provides protection against root diseases.Salon (Aug 5, 2018)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.