bi·​o·​log·​i·​cal | \ˌbī-ə-ˈlä-ji-kəl \
variants: or less commonly biologic \ˌbī-​ə-​ˈlä-​jik \

Definition of biological 

1 : of or relating to biology or to life and living processes

2 : used in or produced by applied biology

3 : connected by direct genetic relationship rather than by adoption or marriage her biological father

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from biological

biologically \ˌbī-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for biological


birth, consanguineous, natural


adopted, adoptive, nonbiological

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of biological in a Sentence

the rights of the biological father in this case

Recent Examples on the Web

But of course, the processes of aging and sickness are still biological, even if the causes of those processes lie less in our genes than previously thought. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Genetics play less of a role in lifespan than we thought," 8 Nov. 2018 Because of Benjamin’s cystic fibrosis, the couple wasn’t able to have biological children and had long been considering creating a family through adoption. Elissa Strauss, Glamour, "The Great Frozen Embryo Debate," 11 Oct. 2018 The names of the biological parents are removed, and the adoptive parents are listed as mother and father. The girl wants to change her first and middle names, too. Mark Curnutte,, "Girl who lost parents to heroin starts over: `I want a family'," 27 June 2018 Practitioners measure things like telomeres—the protective caps on chromosomes that supposedly reveal one’s biological age—to locate the source of an ailment or those last stubborn pounds. Jancee Dunn, Vogue, "The Future of Dieting Is Here—And it Has Nothing to do With Calorie Counting," 29 Oct. 2018 The play/movie, built around the songs of ABBA, centers on a young woman who invites three men, all of whom might be her biological father, to her wedding after finding her mother's racy diary from the summer before she was born. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Lily James Talks About the Pressure of Playing a Young Meryl Streep," 13 Oct. 2018 The news magazine draws on the help of DNA detective CeCe Moore to help two people, who were abandoned at birth, find their biological families. Hal Boedeker,, "'Jonestown: An American Tragedy,' Sacha Baron Cohen: This weekend," 13 July 2018 On Thursday, MyHeritage offered 5,000 testing kits as an extension of their pro bono initiative to reunite adoptees with their biological families. John Moore, National Geographic, "Could DNA Testing Reunite Immigrant Families? Get the Facts.," 25 June 2018 Even though dinosaurs are ancestors to birds, this biological difference shows how evolution has played a role in animals that populate the world today. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Dinosaurs Could Barely Use Their Tongues," 20 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of biological

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about biological

Share biological

Statistics for biological

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for biological

The first known use of biological was in 1818

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for biological



English Language Learners Definition of biological

: of or relating to biology or to life and living things

: related through birth


bi·​o·​log·​i·​cal | \ˌbī-ə-ˈlä-ji-kəl\

Kids Definition of biological

1 : of or relating to biology or to life and living things biological activity

2 : related by birth


variants: also biologic

Medical Definition of biological 

1 : of or relating to biology or to life and living processes

2 : used in or produced by applied biology

3 : related by direct genetic relationship rather than by adoption or marriage an adoptee who searched for years for her biological parents

Other Words from biological

biologically \-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on biological

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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