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

Future generations of sequencers could be widely distributed throughout our homes, offices, the broader biosphere, and even within our bodies. George Church, Ars Technica, "We should create a global DNA threat-detection network to fight future pathogens," 19 June 2019 The main peak, first climbed in 1936 by a combined American/United Kingdom expedition, has been closed to climbing since the 1980s when the Indian government declared it off-limits as a biosphere reserve. Anna Callaghan, Outside Online, "Climbers Presumed Dead on Flanks of Nanda Devi East," 6 June 2019 In a ten-year study, the DCO probed beneath the Earth's surface at locations across the globe, finding that the underground biosphere extends some three miles deep. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Vast Ecosystem of Underground Organisms Holds More Life Than Earth's Oceans," 11 Dec. 2018 The climate is basically a giant planet-sized machine with lots of moving parts—the atmosphere, the lithosphere, the cryosphere, the biosphere—and the interactions between those moving parts may be quite sensitive. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Alien Anthropocene: How Would Other Worlds Battle Climate Change?," 13 June 2018 One exception is the proviso, codified in international law, to avoid potentially harmful interplanetary exchanges of biological material that could spark virulent epidemics on Earth or wipe out fragile alien biospheres. Leonard David, Scientific American, "As Space Becomes a Busy Place, NASA Bolsters Its Planet-Contamination Police," 3 July 2018 But the next year, the background emissions from the biosphere might be higher. Emily Williams,, "BU professor granted almost $1 million to study air pollution," 9 July 2018 Studies of the Southern Ocean will allow scientists to assess this ocean’s impact on the Earth’s biosphere and climate. Discover Magazine, "The Salt Life," 27 June 2018 Much as opinions of that work were divided — some criticized it as garish, while others praised it as as vivid — conservationists disagree over whether restorations really restore biospheres, or create something that is less than genuine. Christopher Torchia, Fox News, "African wild dogs make comeback at Mozambican wildlife park," 22 June 2018

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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Statistics for biosphere

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for biosphere

The first known use of biosphere was in 1899

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on biosphere

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with biosphere

Spanish Central: Translation of biosphere

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

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