exobiology

noun

exo·​bi·​ol·​o·​gy ˌek-sō-bī-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce exobiology (audio)
: a branch of biology concerned with the search for life outside the earth and with the effects of extraterrestrial environments on living organisms
exobiological adjective
exobiologist noun

Examples of exobiology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both shared an academic interest in ferns and knew that NASA was funding research on exobiology, the study of potential life beyond Earth. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2023 Green introduces us to ideas from exobiology (the study of life on other worlds) and researchers who study exoplanets (worlds beyond our solar system), pointing out that these fields rely as heavily on science fiction as on mathematical probabilities. Annalee Newitz, Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2023 Interest in exobiology — the study of the origins, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe — had been drying up for decades. Elise Cutts, Discover Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023 But Ames’ leadership knew their exobiology hot spot was something worth saving. Elise Cutts, Discover Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023 One reason is historical: The study of biosignatures — which began in the 1960s, within the new discipline of exobiology — has been receiving support from NASA and academic institutions for decades. Jon Gertner, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2022 That question, now known as the Fermi Paradox, has long bedeviled astronomers and other scientists studying exobiology—which explores the possibility of other life in the universe. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 21 Dec. 2022 There’s an exobiology truism that where there is water, there is life. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, 8 Dec. 2022 In the 1960s and ’70s, Drake played a major role in driving astrobiology—then called exobiology—into becoming a systematic field of study of the origins and evolution of life on alien worlds. WIRED, 11 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exobiology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exobiology was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near exobiology

Cite this Entry

“Exobiology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exobiology. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

exobiology

noun
exo·​bi·​ol·​o·​gy -bī-ˈäl-ə-jē How to pronounce exobiology (audio)
plural exobiologies
: a branch of biology concerned with the search for life outside the earth and with the effects of extraterrestrial environments on living organisms

called also astrobiology

exobiological adjective

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