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

Examples of abiotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So far, scientists haven’t managed to come up with an abiotic explanation for oxygen-methane biosignatures. Elise Cutts, WIRED, 7 Apr. 2024 Continued abiotic reactions with formate could produce larger organic compounds like amino acids, which can be strung together into molecules essential for life, such as enzymes and other proteins. Quanta Magazine, 4 Jan. 2024 Organic carbon can be abiotic – that is, unrelated to a living organism. Amy J. Williams, Discover Magazine, 16 Mar. 2024 Identifying abiotic reactions in nature could inform future lab experiments testing prebiotic chemistry, where researchers can tweak the conditions to more closely simulate early Earth or other worlds, Barge explained. Quanta Magazine, 4 Jan. 2024 As more continues to be demystified about biological and abiotic ice nucleators, they could eventually be used for more efficient methods of freezing food, making snow, creating clouds, and possibly the cryogenic freezing of human cells, which was recently successful. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 7 Dec. 2023 Yet all of these can come from abiotic sources, such as ozone from water vapor in the atmosphere, or sulfides from volcanoes. WIRED, 2 Oct. 2023 The discovery uncovers a chicken and egg conundrum: which came first, abiotic methane or the microbes? Roni Dengler, Discover Magazine, 22 Apr. 2019 This type of stress is called abiotic stress and results from unmet plant needs, usually too much or too little of something. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abiotic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

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