abi·​ot·​ic ˌā-(ˌ)bī-ˈä-tik How to pronounce abiotic (audio)
: not biotic : abiological
the abiotic environment

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web While some abiotic processes can also make the compound under certain conditions, the team’s analysis suggested those processes weren’t likely to occur on Venus. Quanta Magazine, 3 Nov. 2022 The time young sharks spend in nurseries depends on both biotic and abiotic factors that aren't fully understood. Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 But subsequent studies showed the putative microfossils could have easily been produced by several other entirely abiotic routes. Natalie Elliot, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2021 Another was a sample from the Murchison meteorite, a bolide rich in organic (but abiotic) carbon compounds that fell to Earth in 1969. Natalie Elliot, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2021 Furthermore, the curved and bent filaments seem to rule out any abiotic look-alikes. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 24 Sep. 2021 Importantly, however, these elemental proportions change in accordance with cell size, allowing for an additional check on any curiously consistent but possibly abiotic chemical ratios on another world. Natalie Elliot, Scientific American, 16 July 2021 The trouble is that many simple biosignatures can be produced both by living things and through abiotic geochemical processes. Natalie Elliot, Scientific American, 16 July 2021 Right here on our own planet, structures suggested to be of organismal origins are often later shown to have abiotic provenance. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, 6 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abiotic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


a- entry 2 + biotic

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abiotic was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near abiotic

Cite this Entry

“Abiotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abiotic. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



abi·​ot·​ic ˌā-bī-ˈät-ik How to pronounce abiotic (audio)
: not living or composed of living things
water and soil are abiotic

Medical Definition



abi·​ot·​ic ˌā-(ˌ)bi-ˈät-ik How to pronounce abiotic (audio)
: not biotic : abiological
the abiotic environment
abiotically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on abiotic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.