Definition of biography
1 : a usually written history of a person's life a new biography of Abraham Lincoln
2 : biographical writings as a whole the genre of biography
3 : an account of the life of something (such as an animal, a coin, or a building) the biography of the commonwealth
Examples of biography in a sentence
a new biography of Abraham Lincoln
an unauthorized biography of the actor gave him some serious headaches
So You've Been Asked to Submit a biography
In a library, the word biography refers both to a kind of book and to a section where books of that kind are found. Each biography tells the story of a real person's life. A biography may be about someone who lived long ago, recently, or even someone who is still living, though in the last case it must necessarily be incomplete. The term autobiography refers to a biography written by the person it's about. Autobiographies are of course also necessarily incomplete.
Sometimes biographies are significantly shorter than a book—something anyone who's been asked to submit a biography for, say, a conference or a community newsletter will be glad to know. Often the word in these contexts is shortened to bio, a term that can be both a synonym of biography and a term for what is actually a biographical sketch: a brief description of a person's life. These kinds of biographies—bios—vary, but many times they are only a few sentences long. Looking at bios that have been used in the same context can be a useful guide in determining what to put in your own.
Origin and Etymology of biography
Late Greek biographia, from Greek bi- + -graphia -graphy
First Known Use: 1665
BIOGRAPHY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of biography for English Language Learners
: the story of a real person's life written by someone other than that person
BIOGRAPHY Defined for Kids
Definition of biography for Students
: a usually written account of a real person's life
Learn More about biography
See words that rhyme with biography Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for biography Spanish Central: Translation of biography Nglish: Translation of biography for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of biography for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about biography
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