biodiversity

play
noun bio·di·ver·si·ty \-də-ˈvər-sə-tē, -dī-\

Definition of biodiversity

  1. :  biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals

biodiverse

play \-dī-ˈvərs, -də-\ adjective

biodiversity was our Word of the Day on 04/22/2008. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of biodiversity from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Biodiversity may become the rallying call for the next decade, wrote David Wake in the journal Science in 1989. Indeed, biodiversity is a word you're likely to encounter in writing about ecology and the environment today. But when Wake used it, "biodiversity" was still a relatively new addition to the English language, having first appeared in writing in the mid-1980s. Of course, the roots of biodiversity are much older. It evolved from a commingling of the descendants of the Greek noun bios, which means "mode of life," and the Latin verb divertere, which means "to turn aside" or "to go different ways."

First Known Use of biodiversity

1985


BIODIVERSITY Defined for English Language Learners

biodiversity

play
noun

Definition of biodiversity for English Language Learners

  • : the existence of many different kinds of plants and animals in an environment


BIODIVERSITY Defined for Kids

biodiversity

play
noun bio·di·ver·si·ty \ˌbī-ō-də-ˈvər-sə-tē, -dī-\

Definition of biodiversity for Students

  1. :  the existence of many different kinds of plants and animals in an environment


Learn More about biodiversity


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up biodiversity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an extremely thin woman

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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