What does the word "bio" mean?


"Bio" is a derivative of the Greek word "bios," meaning "life." It is used as a combining form, specifically as a prefix, in the creation of other words. Such words refer to living organisms or a human life or career.

Some compound words that indicate a reference to life or living organisms are created by attaching the prefix "bio" to a root word. This process gives the base word a new or a more specific meaning. For example, "biochemistry" is created by attaching the prefix "bio" to the base word "chemistry." On its own, "chemistry" refers to the study of matter, substances and their properties and interactions, while "biochemistry" refers to the study of chemical processes that take place within living organism. Through the same process, the prefix "bio" gives specificity to words such as "technology", "electricity" or "cybernetics," implying that "biotechnology," "bioelectricity" and "biocybernetics" are all concerned with the study of some aspect of living organisms or deal with such organisms. Other words that contain the prefix "bio" include "biohazard," "biogas," "biomass" and hundreds more.

Some words created by using the prefix "bio" refer to a human being's life or career. For instance, a biography is the life story of a person, while a biopic is a movie based on a person’s life or career. In such instances, "bio" has a more specific meaning, referring to the life of a human, which remains true to its original meaning of “life.”

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bio | Define bio at Dictionary.com
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