bio·​mass | \ ˈbī-ō-ˌmas How to pronounce biomass (audio) \

Definition of biomass

1 : the amount of living matter (as in a unit area or volume of habitat)
2 : plant materials and animal waste used especially as a source of fuel

Examples of biomass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web International Paper generates nearly 75% of our paper mill energy from these biomass residuals rather than from fossil fuels. Fortune, "Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about paper packaging when you shop online," 30 Jan. 2020 Plants and algae have been sucking carbon out of the atmosphere and turning it into biomass for over a billion years. The Economist, "Climate policy needs negative carbon-dioxide emissions," 5 Dec. 2019 Mosquitoes form an important source of biomass in the food chain—serving as food for fish as larvae and for birds, bats and frogs as adult flies—and some species are important pollinators. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Why Do Mosquitoes Exist? Why Do Elephants and Donkeys Represent the GOP and the Democrats? And More Questions From Our Readers," 21 Nov. 2019 Now the sources overload the sinks: Too much fossil biomass is burned to be absorbed within ancient ecological bounds. Stephen Pyne, Quartz, "The Earth could be entering a planetary fire age," 10 Nov. 2019 Those sugars are the key to making biofuels, because once the polymers are broken down into simple sugars, those sugars can be fermented into liquid biomass. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Gribble Worm Could Hold Secrets for Cheaper Renewable Energy," 5 Dec. 2018 Fortunately, satellite data allows me to measure pollution from biomass burning as well as the occurrence of cropland fires. Patrick Behrer, Quartz India, "The unintended consequence of India’s rural employment programme: air pollution," 26 Dec. 2019 The wood will be chipped and removed by a company that runs biomass plants, facilities that generate electricity from burning dead vegetation. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "Big forest-thinning project begins along Highway 17 to reduce wildfire risk," 26 Aug. 2019 That tracks the increasing particulate air pollution due to coal-burning power plants and manufacturing—as well as biomass burning—that has only recently been addressed. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Chinese air pollution dimmed sunlight enough to impact solar panels," 10 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of biomass

1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for biomass

Time Traveler

The first known use of biomass was in 1931

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Statistics for biomass

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Biomass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for biomass


bio·​mass | \ -ˌmas How to pronounce biomass (audio) \

Medical Definition of biomass

: the amount of living matter (as in a unit area or volume of habitat)

More from Merriam-Webster on biomass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with biomass Encyclopedia article about biomass

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