bi·​on·​ic | \ bī-ˈä-nik How to pronounce bionic (audio) \

Definition of bionic

1 : of or relating to bionics
2 : having normal biological capability or performance enhanced by or as if by electronic or electromechanical devices

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The science of bionics uses knowledge about how biological systems work to help solve engineering problems. The material Velcro, for example, was inspired by the way burrs behave when they stick to your clothes, and some computer chips are now wired in ways that imitate the "wiring" of the brain and nervous system. But in popular use, the adjective bionic almost always describes artificial limbs or other bodily parts that work as much like real ones as possible. A perfect bionic arm would move and function as easily as a real arm—a goal we're rapidly getting closer to.

Examples of bionic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One way of doing so came from a partnership with Open Bionics, the creators of bionic limbs. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 As far back as 1990, futurist Ray Kurzweil, Google’s current Director of Engineering, predicted that bionic exoskeletons would be assisting paraplegics to walk by the early 2000s. Gus Alexiou, Forbes, 30 May 2021 But the long-relief specialist that Santana was in his early years, the bionic-arm inning-eater who is always ready when a starting pitcher flames out early — those guys are practically as extinct from modern baseball as the sacrifice bunt. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, 27 May 2021 Restoring vision is a crucial goal for scientists and clinicians, and many other strategies are being pursued in academic labs and companies—including bionic eyes and stem-cell therapies in addition to drugs and optogenetics. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, 24 May 2021 His ankles are legendary around NBA circles, bionic joints that can somehow withstand any type of contortion. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2021 The 8th-generation iPad, meanwhile, sports a A12 bionic chip and a maximum storage capacity of 128 gigabytes. Chase Brush,, 17 Mar. 2021 James rolled his left ankle again, and while that joint seems bionic, his status for Monday’s game against Portland is questionable. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 28 Dec. 2020 Other bionic limbs that function similarly but look more like a human hand can cost up to $100,000. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bionic.' 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 bionic

1961, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bionic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for bionic



English Language Learners Definition of bionic

of body parts : made stronger or more capable by special electronic devices


bi·​on·​ic | \ bī-ˈän-ik How to pronounce bionic (audio) \

Medical Definition of bionic

1 : of or relating to bionics
2a : having normal biological capability or performance enhanced by or as if by electronic or electromechanical devices
b : comprising or made up of artificial body parts that enhance or substitute for a natural biological capability a bionic heart


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