non·​bi·​o·​log·​i·​cal | \ ˌnän-ˌbī-ə-ˈlä-ji-kəl How to pronounce nonbiological (audio) \

Definition of nonbiological

: not biological: such as
a : not relating to, marked by, or derived from life and living processes nonbiological research nonbiological components nonbiological methane
b : not connected by genetic relationship a nonbiological parent

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nonbiological

nonbiologically \ ˌnän-​ˌbī-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce nonbiological (audio) \ adverb
nonbiologically produced materials

Examples of nonbiological in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Clever chemists will now be trying to come up with alternative, nonbiological sources that produce phosphine in sufficient amounts. David Grinspoon, Scientific American, "Is there Really Life on Venus? There's Only One Way to Know for Sure," 26 Sep. 2020 But researchers have also realized that we can be fooled by entirely nonbiological environments that churn out these compounds in unbalanced mixes—far from the expectations of chemical equilibrium based on the simplest thermodynamic rules. Caleb A. Scharf, Scientific American, "Life's Small-Molecule Problem," 5 Oct. 2020 Some nonbiological process unknown on Earth might have churned the molecule into existence. Sarah Scoles, Wired, "‘Dr. Phosphine’ and the Possibility of Life on Venus," 14 Sep. 2020 That community needs to drill deeper into potential nonbiological explanations for phosphine. Sarah Scoles, Wired, "‘Dr. Phosphine’ and the Possibility of Life on Venus," 14 Sep. 2020 Simulation can also unmask signatures that seem to represent life but could be created by nonbiological processes. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, "CSI: Aliens--Astronomers Prep to Detect Cryptic Exoplanet Biosignals," 12 May 2015 Today, family law in the U.S. and elsewhere continues to recognize nonbiological lines of reasoning. The Conversation,, "Who’s is your daddy? It’s not all about DNA," 16 June 2019 But the gas can also have a nonbiological origin, such as geothermal activity (for which Yellowstone National Park is famous), so the researchers are not certain that bacteria continue to reside below the salty lake. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "The Not So Dead Sea: Traces of Ancient Bacteria Found in the Lake’s Sediments," 5 June 2019 But methane can also be produced by nonbiological sources, such as volcanoes. Amina Khan,, "The search for life on other planets could get a boost from biosignatures," 25 Jan. 2018

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

circa 1871, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nonbiological

Time Traveler for nonbiological

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonbiological was circa 1871

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nonbiological

Cite this Entry

“Nonbiological.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nonbiological



English Language Learners Definition of nonbiological

: not coming from or related to things that are alive
: related through adoption rather than birth


non-bi·​o·​log·​i·​cal | \ -ˌbī-ə-ˈläj-i-kəl \
variants: or nonbiological

Medical Definition of non-biological

: not biological non-biological parents non-biological factors

More from Merriam-Webster on nonbiological

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nonbiological

Comments on nonbiological

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!