biomedical (adj.) Look up biomedical at
also bio-medical, "pertaining to both biology and medicine," 1961, from bio- + medical (adj.).
biometric (adj.) Look up biometric at
1888, "of or pertaining to biometry" (q.v.). With -ic.
biometrics (n.) Look up biometrics at
"application of statistics and mathematics to the study of biology," 1902, from biometry (also see -ics).
biometry (n.) Look up biometry at
1831, "calculation of life expectancy" (obsolete); see bio- + -metry. Coined by Whewell, popularized 1860s by T.S. Lambert. Later, "application of mathematics to the study of biology" (1894). Related: Biometer, used in various senses from 1830s; from 1865 as "life table," calculating the duration of life under given conditions.
biomorph (n.) Look up biomorph at
"a decorative form representing a living object," 1895 (A.C. Haddon), from bio- "life" + -morph "form" (see Morpheus). Related: Biomorphic.
biomorphic (adj.) Look up biomorphic at
1880, in biology, from bio- "life" + -morphic, from Greek morphe "form, shape" (see Morpheus).
bionic (adj.) Look up bionic at
1901 as a term in the study of fossils, "quality of an organism that repeats its characteristics in successive generations," from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). Meaning "pertaining to bionics" is recorded from 1963, with ending from electronic. Popular sense of "superhumanly gifted or durable" is from 1976, from U.S. television program "The Six Million Dollar Man" and its spin-offs.
bionics (n.) Look up bionics at
"the study of electronic systems which function in the manner of organic systems," 1959, from bio- "life" + second element from electronic; also see -ics.
bionomics (n.) Look up bionomics at
"science of organic evolution; ecology," 1888, coined by Scottish biologist Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + nomos "managing," from nemein "to manage" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). Related: Bionomical.
bionomy (n.) Look up bionomy at
"science of the laws of life, or of living functions," 1853, in books on Comte's philosophy, from bio- "life" + -nomy, from Greek nomos "law" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). Related: Bionomic.
biopic (n.) Look up biopic at
also bio-pic, 1951, a contraction of biographical (moving) picture. Frequent from mid-1951 in "Billboard" and possibly coined there.
biopsy (n.) Look up biopsy at
"examination of tissue removed from a living body," 1895, from French biopsie, coined by French dermatologist Ernest Besnier (1831-1909) from Greek bi-, combining form of bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + opsis "a sight" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). As a verb, from 1964.
biorhythm (n.) Look up biorhythm at
also bio-rhythm, "cyclic variation in some bodily function," 1960, from bio- + rhythm. Related: Biorhythmic.
bioscience (n.) Look up bioscience at
1957, from bio- "life" + science.
biosphere (n.) Look up biosphere at
"Earth's surface and lower atmosphere as the realm of living organisms," 1899, from or modeled on German Biosphäre (1875), which was coined by German geologist Eduard Suess (1831-1914); see bio- + sphere.
biosynthesis (n.) Look up biosynthesis at
"production of chemical substances by living organisms," 1930; see bio- + synthesis.
biota (n.) Look up biota at
"animal and plant life of a given region," 1901, from Greek biota "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."
biotaxy (n.) Look up biotaxy at
"classification and arrangement of living organisms according to their characteristics," 1853, from bio- "life" + -taxy, from Greek taxis "arrangement" (see tactics).
biotech (n.) Look up biotech at
1974, short for biotechnology.
biotechnology (n.) Look up biotechnology at
also bio-technology, 1947, "use of machinery in relation to human needs;" from 1964 in sense of "use of biological processes in industrial production," from bio- + technology.
bioterrorism (n.) Look up bioterrorism at
also bio-terrorism, by 1997, from bio- + terrorism. Related: Bioterrorist.
biotic (adj.) Look up biotic at
"pertaining to life," 1847, also biotical (1847), from Latin bioticus, from Greek biotikos "pertaining to life," from bios "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live." Biotic factor was in use by 1907. Related: Biotical.
biotin (n.) Look up biotin at
vitamin of the B group (also sometimes called vitamin H) essential for the growth of yeast, 1936, from German Biotin (1936), from Greek biotos "life" (variant of bios, from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + chemical suffix -in (2).
biparous (adj.) Look up biparous at
"bringing forth two at birth," 1731, from bi- "two" + Latin -parus, from parere "bring forth, bear" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").
bipartient (adj.) Look up bipartient at
"dividing into two parts," 1670s, from Latin bipartientem (nominative bipartiens), present participle of bipartire "to divide into two parts," from bi- "two" (see bi-) + partitus, past participle of partiri "to divide" (from pars "a part, piece, a share," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").
bipartisan (adj.) Look up bipartisan at
also bi-partisan, "representing or composed of members of two political parties, 1894; see bi- + partisan (adj.) "pertaining to a (political) party."
bipartisanship (n.) Look up bipartisanship at
also bi-partisanship, 1895, from bipartisan + -ship.
bipartite (adj.) Look up bipartite at
"in two parts, having two corresponding parts," 1570s, from Latin bipartitus "divided," past participle of bipartire "to divide into two parts," from bi- "two" (see bi-) + partitus, past participle of partiri "to divide" (from pars "a part, piece, a share," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). Related: Bipartition.
biped (n.) Look up biped at
"animal with two feet," 1640s, from Latin bipedem (nominative bipes) "two-footed," as a plural noun, "men;" from bi- "two" (see bi-) + pedem (nominative pes) "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). As an adjective from 1781.
bipedal (adj.) Look up bipedal at
c. 1600, "having two feet," from biped + -al (1). Classical Latin bipedalis meant "two feet long or thick."
bipedalism (n.) Look up bipedalism at
"state or condition of having two feet," 1897; see bipedal + -ism. Bipedality is from 1847.
biplanar (adj.) Look up biplanar at
"lying or situated in two planes," 1849; see bi- "two" + planar.
biplane (n.) Look up biplane at
"airplane with two full wings, one above the other," 1874 as a theoretical notion; first attested 1908 in reference to the real thing; from bi- "two" + plane (n.1). So called from the two "planes" of the double wings. Earlier it was a term in mathematics (1870).
biplicate (adj.) Look up biplicate at
"doubly folded," 1840 in botany, from bi- "two" + Latin plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait").
biplicity (n.) Look up biplicity at
"state of being twofold," 1731, from bi- "two" + ending from multiplicity. A useful and non-pejorative alternative to duplicity.
bipolar (adj.) Look up bipolar at
"having two poles;" see bi- "two" + polar. From 1810 in figurative sense of "of double aspect;" 1859 with reference to anatomy ("having two processes from opposite poles," of nerve cells). Psychiatric use in reference to what had been called manic-depressive psychosis is said to have begun 1957 with German psychiatrist Karl Leonhard. The term became popular early 1990s. Bipolar disorder was in DSM III (1980).
bipolarity (n.) Look up bipolarity at
also bi-polarity, "state of having two poles," 1834; see bipolar + -ity.
bippy (n.) Look up bippy at
by 1968, "buttocks, ass," U.S. slang, the kind of thing that once sounded naughty on "Laugh-In" (and briefly was popularized by that program). As it often was used with you bet your ... it may be nonsense chosen for alliteration, but there may be some whiff of biped in it.
biracial (adj.) Look up biracial at
also bi-racial, 1904; see bi- "two" + racial. Related: Biracially.
birch (v.) Look up birch at
"to flog," 1830, from the noun in the sense "bunch of birch twigs used for flogging" (1640s); see birch (n.). Related: Birched; birching.
birch (n.) Look up birch at
"hardy, slender northern forest tree noted for its white bark," Old English berc, beorc (also the name of the rune for "b"), from Proto-Germanic *berkjon (source also of Old Saxon birka, Old Norse börk, Danish birk, Swedish and Icelandic björk (which is also a girl's given name), Middle Dutch berke, Dutch berk, Old High German birihha, German Birke), from PIE *bhergo (source also of Ossetian barz, Old Church Slavonic breza, Russian bereza, Lithuanian beržas, Sanskrit bhurjah, all names of birch-like trees, Latin fraxinus "mountain ash"), from root *bhereg- "to shine; bright, white," in reference to the bark. Birch beer is by 1827, American English.
birch-bark (n.) Look up birch-bark at
1640s, American English, from birch (n.) + bark (n.1). Old English had beorcrind.
birchen (adj.) Look up birchen at
"consisting or made of birch," mid-15c., from birch (n.) + -en (2). Similar formation in German birken.
Bircher (n.) Look up Bircher at
1961, member of the U.S. anti-communist John Birch Society, which was founded 1958 and named for John Birch (1918-1945), U.S. Baptist missionary and Army Air Forces captain killed by Chinese Communists shortly after the end of World War II, who is considered the first American casualty of the Cold War.
bird (n.3) Look up bird at
"middle finger held up in a rude gesture," slang derived from 1860s expression give the big bird "to hiss someone like a goose," kept alive in vaudeville slang with sense of "to greet someone with boos, hisses, and catcalls" (1922), transferred 1960s to the "up yours" hand gesture (the rigid finger representing the hypothetical object to be inserted) on notion of defiance and contempt. The gesture itself seems to be much older (the human anatomy section of a 12c. Latin bestiary in Cambridge describes the middle finger as that "by means of which the pursuit of dishonour is indicated").
bird (n.2) Look up bird at
"maiden, young girl; woman of noble birth, damsel, lady, lady in waiting," also "the Virgin Mary," c. 1200, perhaps a variant of birth (n.) "birth, lineage," confused with burd and bride (q.q.v.), but felt by later writers as a figurative use of bird (n.1), which originally meant "young bird" and sometimes in Middle English was extended to the young of other animals and humans. In later Middle English bird (n.2) largely was confined to alliterative poetry and to alliterative phrases. Modern slang meaning "young woman" is from 1915, and probably arose independently of the older word (compare slang use of chick).
bird (n.1) Look up bird at
"feathered, warm-blooded vertebrate animal of the class Aves," Old English bird, rare collateral form of bridd, originally "young bird, nestling" (the usual Old English for "bird" being fugol, for which see fowl (n.)), which is of uncertain origin with no cognates in any other Germanic language. The suggestion that it is related by umlaut to brood and breed is rejected by OED as "quite inadmissible." Metathesis of -r- and -i- was complete 15c.
Middle English, in which bird referred to various young animals and even human beings, may have preserved the original meaning of this word. Despite its early attestation, bridd is not necessarily the oldest form of bird. It is usually assumed that -ir- from -ri- arose by metathesis, but here, too, the Middle English form may go back to an ancient period. [Liberman]
Figurative sense of "secret source of information" is from 1540s. Meaning "man, fellow, person" is from 1799. Bird-watching attested from 1897. Bird's-eye view "the view as seen from above, as if by a bird in flight," is from 1762. For the birds recorded from 1944, supposedly in allusion to birds eating from droppings of horses and cattle. The bird-spider (1800) of the American tropics is a large sort of tarantula that can capture and kill small birds.
A byrde yn honde ys better than three yn the wode. [c. 1530]
bird-bath (n.) Look up bird-bath at
also birdbath, 1862, from bird (n.1) + bath (n.).
bird-brain (n.) Look up bird-brain at
also birdbrain, 1936, slang, "stupid person," also perhaps suggestive of flightiness, from bird (n.1) + brain (n.). Bird-brained is attested from 1910 and bird-witted from c. 1600.
bird-cage (n.) Look up bird-cage at
also birdcage, "portable enclosure for birds," late 15c., from bird (n.1) + cage (n.).