biophilia

noun
bio·phil·ia | \ ˌbī-ō-ˈfi-lē-ə , -ˈfēl-yə \

Definition of biophilia 

: a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The term "biophilia" was popularized by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in the 1960s. In his work, he used the word (from bio-, meaning "life," and -philia, meaning "friendly feeling toward") to describe the biological drive toward self-preservation. In the late 1970s, American biologist Edward O. Wilson extended the word's meaning, seeing it as the perfect word for "the rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms." Recently, "biophilia" has been in the news as the title of Icelandic singer Björk's latest project, a multimedia production that (according to the website for the Manchester International Festival) "celebrates how sound works in nature, exploring the infinite expanse of the universe, from planetary systems to atomic structure."

Examples of biophilia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

While the concept of biophilia is debatable, the effects of the phenomenon are not; researchers noted that simply staring at an image of natural scenery for 40 seconds was enough to trigger the brain into a more relaxed state. NBC News, "Why natural scenery improves your mood and makes you more productive," 2 Apr. 2018 One of the most popular of these is called the biophilia hypothesis, which argues that humans have an innate desire to seek connections with nature. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "Desk, swivel chair, trees: Why companies are moving the office outdoors," 28 June 2018 The Evidence One of the most recent studies, from the Journal of Environmental Psychology, noted a phenomenon that may stem from biophilia — human beings’ natural desire to be connected with nature. NBC News, "Why natural scenery improves your mood and makes you more productive," 2 Apr. 2018

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

1979, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for biophilia

New Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about biophilia

Listen to Our Podcast about biophilia

Statistics for biophilia

Last Updated

29 Jul 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for biophilia

The first known use of biophilia was in 1979

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on biophilia

See words that rhyme with biophilia

Comments on biophilia

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
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!