Definition: Biotechnology

From New World Encyclopedia


From Ancient Greek βίο- (bío-), combining form and stem of βίος (bíos, “life”) + technology borrowed from Ancient Greek τεχνολογία (tekhnología, “systematic treatment (of grammar)”), from τέχνη (tékhnē, “art”) + -λογία (-logía, “study”). Synchronically analyzable as techno- +‎ -logy.


  • /ˈbaɪəʊˌtɛk.nɒl.əʊ.dʒɪi/


biotechnology (usually uncountable, plural biotechnologies)

  1. the use of living organisms (especially microorganisms) in industrial, agricultural, medical and other technological applications
  2. the application of the principles and practices of engineering and technology to the life sciences
  3. genetic engineering

Derived terms

  • biotech (abbreviations, informal)
  • biotechnological

Related terms

  • bioengineering
  • biomimetics
  • biomodification
  • bionics


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors copied and adjusted this Wiktionary entry in accordance with NWE standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here: