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abiogenesis the production of living organisms from nonliving matter; spontaneous generation.
abiotic characterized by an absence of living organisms; without life.
acquired characteristic a change in the structure or function of a living organism that is caused by environmental factors and may not be transmitted genetically.
ADP a biochemical compound involved in the storing and releasing of energy in all living cells; adenosine diphosphate. (Cf. ATP.)
aerobic occurring or living only in the presence of oxygen. [1/3 definitions]
ahimsa (Sanskrit) the principle of nonviolence based on the belief in the sacredness of all living creatures, as held by Buddhists, Hindus, and others.
air chamber a compartment in which air is confined for a special use, as in a pump, a hydraulic fluid regulator, or a living organism.
air sac an air-filled space or cavity in a living organism, esp. any of the ends of certain bronchial tubes in a bird's body that connect with the larger body cavity and assist in breathing.
ala a wing or winglike part or structure on a living organism.
Algonquin any of several Algonquian Indian tribes formerly living in the region of southern Canada and the St. Lawrence River, or a member of one of these tribes. [1/3 definitions]
alien a living being from another planet or other place in the universe; extraterrestrial. [1/6 definitions]
alive having life; living. [2/4 definitions]
Alpine (l.c.) of, like, living in, or characteristic of high mountains or mountain regions above the timberline. [2/4 definitions]
Amish a Christian sect that separated from the Mennonites in the seventeenth century, the members of which advocate simple living and now live mostly in farming areas of the northeastern United States. [1/3 definitions]
anabolism the process in living organisms by which complex structures are synthesized from simple ones, as body tissues from food.
anaerobe any of various microorganisms, such as certain bacteria, that are capable of living without air or oxygen.
animal a living creature that is generally distinguished from plants by its cellular structure and by the ability to move voluntarily. [2/5 definitions]
animate alive; living. [1/8 definitions]
antediluvian a person living before the Flood. [1/4 definitions]
antigen any of various substances that, when introduced into a living body, causes the production of antibodies.
antivivisection opposition to experimentation performed on living animals, as in medical research.