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

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Other Words from nonbiological

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

Examples of nonbiological in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 And there’s no sign of hydrothermal reactions with other minerals that can produce graphite, which is the next most likely source of nonbiological graphite like this. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "New evidence would push life back to at least 3.95 billion years ago," 30 Sep. 2017 And if a couple breaks up, lawyers say that without an adoption, the nonbiological parent may have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in court to establish the right to custody. Elizabeth A. Harris, New York Times, "Same-Sex Parents Still Face Legal Complications," 20 June 2017

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.

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First Known Use of nonbiological

circa 1871, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for nonbiological

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for nonbiological

The first known use of nonbiological was circa 1871

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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

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).


to take the place or position of

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