Biology Homework: the Ultimate Glossary of Terms You Need to Study

How can I do my biology homework with all the jargon I’m encountering in research. Like other sciences, biology brims of terminologies that often intimidate many students. mastery of these terms is a great cheat on biology homework as you can easily go about research without confusion.

Without further ado, here is a glossary of terms to help you in your biology assignments.


Active transport – employing energy to transfer molecules into, out of, and between cells.

Adaptive radiation – adaptation of an organism that allows it to successfully spread into different environments.

Aerobic respiration – the process of cellular respiration that happens in the presence of oxygen gas in order to derive energy from food.

Anaerobic respiration – respiration, which enables cells to burn carbohydrates for energy in the absence of oxygen.

Analogous structures – structures that originated independently in two different living species to serve the same function.

Anticodon – nucleotide sequences that are complementary to codons.

Artificial selection – the process through which humans intentionally select for or against specific traits in creatures.


Batesian mimicry – type of biological similarity in which a poisonous or dangerous organism is mirrored by a harmless organism that has a warning system, such as bright colouring.

Benthic zone – the benthic zone is the lowest ecological zone in a body of water, and it often consists of seafloor sediments.

Binary fission – process of oorganelle duplication in eukaryotes.

Binomial nomenclature – a scientific system for naming organisms that includes a genus and a specific name.


Calvin cycle – the chemical mechanisms that plants use to “fix” carbon from CO2 into three-carbon sugars.

Cell differentiation – is the process through which a cell adjusts its gene expression and becomes specialized to a specific purpose.

Cell division – splitting of a parent cell to yield two daughter cells.

Cell signalling – cellular communication occurring within the body as a result of cells releasing and receiving hormones and other signalling molecules.

Convergent evolution – independent evolution of identical traits in animals from several time periods or epochs.

Crenation – the creation of irregular notched surfaces on cells as a result of osmotic water loss.


Directional selection – natural factor that leads a population to evolve toward one extreme of a phenotypic spectrum.

Disruptive selection – the evolutionary drive that enables creatures with extreme characteristics to reproduce more frequently.

Divergent evolution – the process by which groups descended from the same common ancestor evolve and accumulate differences, leading to the emergence of new species.

DNA sequencing – the method of determining the nucleic acid sequence – the order of nucleotides in DNA.

Dominant allele – a gene variant that results in a particular trait even when additional alleles are present.  


Ecdysis – the process of shedding or molting an outer cuticular layer.

Embryology – an area of biology concerned with embryonic development.

Endocytosis – cellular mechanism by which chemicals enter the cell.


Facilitated diffusion – spontaneous passive transport of molecules or ions across a biological membrane via transmembrane integral proteins.

Founder effect – the founder effect is the loss of genetic variety that happens when a new population is founded by a limited minority of participants from a larger population.


Gametophyte – the sexual period in the generational cycle.

Gene pool – the collection of all genes or genetic information in any population, typically of a single species.

Genetic equilibrium – state in a genetic pool of an allele or genotype whose frequency does not change from generation to generation.

Genetic variation – the variations in DNA between individuals or between populations.

Gymnosperm – plants that produce naked seeds.


Heat of vaporization – is the amount of energy that must be given to a liquid substance in order for it to be converted into a gas.

Homologous structures – organs or skeletal parts of animals and creatures that, due to their resemblance, reveal a common progenitor.

Hypertonic solution – solution with a higher solute concentration than another solution.

Hypotonic solution – a solution with a lower solute content than another solution.


Incomplete dominance – gene interaction in which both alleles of a gene at a locus are partially expressed, frequently resulting in an intermediate or distinct phenotype.

Interstitial fluid – extracellular fluid that exists outside of the body’s cells and outside of the blood vessels.

Island biogeography – an ecosystem that is isolated since it is surrounded by other ecosystems.


Kingdom – just below domain is the second highest taxonomic level.

Krebs cycle – energy is transferred from 3-carbon molecules to electron carriers, which are then utilised in the electron transport cycle to make ATP.


Ligand – any molecule or atom that binds to a protein reversibly.

Linked genes – genes that are likely to be inherited jointly due to their physical proximity on the same chromosome.


Metamorphosis – a process in which animals go through dramatic, quick bodily changes after birth.

Missense mutation – a single nucleotide alteration that results in a codon that codes for a different amino acid.

Monohybrid cross – a hybrid between two creatures that differ in one genomic region of interest.


Natural selection – individuals’ survival and reproduction varies due to phenotypic variances.


Open circulatory system – blood suffuses the body and may be immediately exposed to the environment in places such as the digestive tract, rather than being sealed tight in arteries and veins.

Oviparous – animals that lay their eggs but do not grow any further embryos within the mother.


Passive immunity – a procedure in which individuals acquire antibodies from other sources rather than creating their own antibodies.

Passive transport – form of membrane transport in which molecules are moved across cell membranes without the use of energy.

Plasmolysis – the process by which cells in a hypertonic fluid lose water.

Point mutation – type of mutation in DNA or RNA, the genetic material of the cell, in which one nucleotide base is added, removed, or modified.


Recessive allele – a form of genetic coding that does not produce a phenotype in the absence of a dominant allele.

Rhizome – an underground plant stem engineered to put out roots and shoots from its nodes.


Sexual dimorphism – the state in which the sexes of the same species exhibit distinct features, particularly those not immediately related to reproduction.

Stabilizing selection – a type of natural selection in which the population mean settles on a non-extreme trait value.

Sympatric speciation – emergence of a new species from a surviving original species while both remain in the same geographical region.


Transcription – the process of converting a section of DNA into RNA.

True breeding – type of breeding in which parents with the same phenotype produce only children with the same phenotype.


Vestigial – the preservation of genetically determined features or traits that have lost some or all of their ancestral function in a given species during the evolutionary process.

Vivipary – growth of the embryo within the parent’s body.


Water potential – water potential energy per unit volume in comparison to pure water at reference conditions.


Xerophyte – plant species having adaptations to thrive in a low-liquid-water environment.


Zoology – scientific study of animals.

Final take

Mastering biology assignments calls for a vast knowledge of topic terminologies. We hope that this glossary helped understand various challenging concepts. Feel free to consult our team for biology homework answers and help with biology homework, ensuring a smooth learning experience.

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