Definition of biography in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /bʌɪˈɒɡrəfi/

noun (plural biographies)

1An account of someone’s life written by someone else.
Example sentences
  • Hey, there are people writing novels and biographies using pictures as well as words.
  • Was it possible to write the bestselling biography to match the box-office hit?
  • Drummund, who was also a biographer for Billy Graham, wrote an excellent biography on Finney which deals with this.
life story, life history, life, memoir, profile, account
informal bio, biog
rare prosopography
1.1 [mass noun] Biographies considered as a literary genre: the basic difference of approach to autobiography and biography
More example sentences
  • Over the past 27 years, Norman Sherry has been pioneering a new literary genre: biography as ordeal.
  • By taking on these sympathetic forms, literary biography can supply parallel narratives to those of novels.
  • It is closer to literary Criticism, than biography but without ever being boring.
1.2The course of a person’s life: although their individual biographies are different, both are motivated by a similar ambition
More example sentences
  • It exposes the paradox that Plath's texts cannot be read through biography and cannot be read apart from it.
  • Some knowledge of Shapiro's biography is open to any reader in the dedication.
  • Over the centuries, Laozi's life took on elements of the mythological hero's biography.


Late 17th century: from French biographie or modern Latin biographia, from medieval Greek, from bios 'life' + -graphia 'writing'.

Words that rhyme with biography

autobiography, bibliography, cardiography, cartography, chirography, choreography, chromatography, cinematography, cosmography, cryptography, demography, discography, filmography, geography, hagiography, historiography, hydrography, iconography, lexicography, lithography, oceanography, orthography, palaeography (US paleography), photography, radiography, reprography, stenography, topography, typography

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: biog|raphy

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.