[ dee-on-tol-uh-jee ]
/ ˌdi ɒnˈtɒl ə dʒi /


ethics, especially that branch dealing with duty, moral obligation, and right action.

Nearby words

  1. deodorize,
  2. deodorizer,
  3. deontic,
  4. deontological,
  5. deontological ethics,
  6. deorbit,
  7. deossification,
  8. deoxidant,
  9. deoxidize,
  10. deoxy sugar

Origin of deontology

1820–30; < Greek deont- that which is binding (stem of déon, neuter present participle of deîn to bind), equivalent to de- bind + -ont- present participle suffix + -o- + -logy

Related formsde·on·to·log·i·cal [dee-on-tl-oj-i-kuh l] /diˌɒn tlˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, adjectivede·on·tol·o·gist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for deontological


/ (dɪˌɒntəˈlɒdʒɪkəl) /


philosophy (of an ethical theory) regarding obligation as deriving from reason or as residing primarily in certain specific rules of conduct rather than in the maximization of some good


/ (ˌdiːɒnˈtɒlədʒɪ) /


the branch of ethics dealing with duty, moral obligation, and moral commitment
Derived Formsdeontologist, noun

Word Origin for deontology

C19: from Greek deon duty (see deontic) + -logy

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

Word Origin and History for deontological



science of moral duty, 1826, from Greek deont-, comb. form of deon "that which is binding, duty," neuter present participle of dei "is binding;" + -logia "discourse" (see -logy). Said to have been coined by Bentham. Related: Deontological.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper