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[bahy-og-ruh-fee, bee-] /baɪˈɒg rə fi, bi-/
noun, plural biographies.
a written account of another person's life:
the biography of Byron by Marchand.
an account in biographical form of an organization, society, theater, animal, etc.
such writings collectively.
the writing of biography as an occupation or field of endeavor.
Origin of biography
1675-85; < Greek biographía. See bio-, -graphy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for biography
  • It is not a straight biography, nor is it an entirely fictionalized account.
  • Like his paintings, van Gogh's biography has gone into legend.
  • You really should not embark on a biography unless there's an archive.
  • Except for a few small details, this was practically like reading my own professional biography.
  • This biography details Rolston's life and his philosophy of the value of nature.
  • Lovers of biography have some rare prizes awaiting them among the Fall books.
  • In the year after graduation, she devoted herself full time to writing a book-length biography.
  • Andrew Wilson's even-handed biography is both fascinating and deeply disturbing.
  • It would be difficult to compose a bad biography out of such a life.
  • As with any oral biography, much depends on who contributes.
British Dictionary definitions for biography


noun (pl) -phies
an account of a person's life by another
such accounts collectively
Derived Forms
biographer, noun
biographical (ˌbaɪəˈɡræfɪkəl), (archaic) biographic, adjective
biographically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for biography

1680s, probably from Latin biographia, from Late Greek biographia "description of life," from Greek bio- "life" (see bio-) + graphia "record, account" (see -graphy). Biographia was not in classical Greek (bios alone was the word for it), though it is attested in later Greek from c.500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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biography in Culture

biography definition

The story of someone's life. The Life of Samuel Johnson, by James Boswell, and Abraham Lincoln, by Carl Sandburg, are two noted biographies. The story of the writer's own life is an autobiography.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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