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 biospheric (audio) , -​ˈsfer-​ , -​ˈsfe-​rik \ adjective

Did You Know?

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 This character defines many systems, ranging from the biosphere to the economy. Robert Zubrin, National Review, "Might We Find Life on Venus?," 19 Sep. 2020 In a world that increasingly favors the opportunists and generalists of the biosphere, what will happen to specialists like the blue whale? Eric M. Keen, Scientific American, "Why Are Blue Whales So Gigantic?," 31 July 2020 The biosphere contains areas designed for fire prevention and management. Fox News, "Chernobyl: US Forest Service helps reduce wildfire risk in contaminated zone," 13 June 2020 Situated at the Rhône River delta on the Mediterranean coast, the Camargue is the only nesting place for these long-legged birds in France and is partly a UNESCO biosphere reserve. National Geographic, "Top staycation ideas and other ways to globetrot at home," 20 May 2020 In the Netherlands, a vegan restaurant is already experimenting with tables encased in glass booths to limit patrons’ exposure to each others’ biospheres. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Restaurants and bars look ahead," 18 May 2020 The brainchild of a countercultural, experimental theater group (yes, really) known as the Synergists, the biosphere was intended to test whether such environments might be viable should Earth be rendered uninhabitable. Tyler Aquilina,, "Why the isolation doc Spaceship Earth feels so tailor-made for this moment," 9 May 2020 The legacy of the biosphere is, fittingly, mostly as a strange time capsule. Mark Olsenstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: The delicate power of ‘Driveways’," 8 May 2020 The interesting crew behind the biosphere The film details how Allen and those in his circle lost control of the project (it is now run by the University of Arizona) and what happened to them in the years since. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "'Spaceship Earth' explores the mystery of Arizona's Biosphere 2 and the people behind it," 7 May 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of biosphere was in 1899

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Statistics for biosphere

Last Updated

29 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Biosphere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for biosphere


How to pronounce biosphere (audio)

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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