bio·​sphere | \ ˈbī-ə-ˌsfir How to pronounce biosphere (audio) \

Definition of biosphere

1 : the part of the world in which life can exist
2 : living organisms together with their environment

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Other Words from biosphere

biospheric \ ˌbī-​ə-​ˈsfir-​ik How to pronounce biosphere (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ , -​ˈsfe-​rik \ adjective

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The lithosphere is the solid surface of the earth (lith- meaning "rock"); the hydrosphere is the earth's water (hydro- means "water"), including the clouds and water vapor in the air; and the atmosphere is the earth's air (atmos- meaning "vapor"). The term biosphere can include all of these, along with the 10 million species of living things they contain. The biosphere recycles its air, water, organisms, and minerals constantly to maintain an amazingly balanced state; human beings should probably do their best to imitate it. Though the word has a new sound to it, it was first used over a hundred years ago.

Examples of biosphere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The flights on Spaceship Neptune involve a gentle ascent at just 12 miles per hour for a six-hour tour of Earth's biosphere, culminating in a view of our beautiful planet from space. Jamie Carter, Travel + Leisure, 1 Sep. 2021 Likewise, our aliens come from a region void of dark energy because this void represents a biosphere of computational activity. Stephon Alexander, Wired, 31 Aug. 2021 In 1988, the Mexican government named the region a protected biosphere. Anchorage Daily News, 15 Aug. 2021 In 1988, the Mexican government named the region a protected biosphere. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 15 Aug. 2021 The park is an international biosphere reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, 23 July 2021 The study, which studied the amount of radiation (sunshine) each promising exoplanet receives from its star, reveals one planet that comes close to receiving enough sunshine to sustain a large biosphere that could be detected by JWST—Kepler−442b. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 23 June 2021 The delegates' spouses were taken to a performance at the open-air Minack Theater, etched into a clifftop, and the whole party enjoyed dinner in a biosphere at the Eden Project, which champions sustainability. Julia Buckley, CNN, 19 June 2021 Economic imperatives have destroyed so much of the natural world, and events like the Covid-19 pandemic will only become more likely as human populations and desires grow and snatch more from the biosphere. Chandran Nair, CNN, 30 Apr. 2021

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

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for biosphere

borrowed from German Biosphäre, from bio- bio- + -sphäre -sphere

Note: Biosphäre was introduced by the Austrian geologist Eduard Suess (1831-1914) in Die Entstehung der Alpen (Vienna, 1875), p. 159.

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Time Traveler for biosphere

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The first known use of biosphere was in 1899

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Biosphere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for biosphere



English Language Learners Definition of biosphere

: the part of the Earth in which life can exist


bio·​sphere | \ ˈbī-ə-ˌsfi(ə)r How to pronounce biosphere (audio) \

Medical Definition of biosphere

1 : the part of the world in which life can exist
2 : living beings together with their environment

More from Merriam-Webster on biosphere

Nglish: Translation of biosphere for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about biosphere


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