Share this entry

Share this page

biography

Syllabification: bi·og·ra·phy
Pronunciation: /bīˈäɡrəfē
 
/

Definition of biography in English:

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.
Synonyms
life story, life history, life, memoir
informal bio
1.1Biographies as a branch of literature.
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.
1.2A human life in its course: 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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

biographer

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Birthplace of Scottish novelist, short-story writer, biographer and poet.
  • He was called to the Irish bar in 1951 and has earned a reputation as an esteemed playwright, poet and biographer.
  • Novelists, poets and playwrights all see such biographers as parasites.

Definition of biography in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day odium
Pronunciation: ˈōdēəm
noun
widespread hatred or disgust for someone…