• synonyms


  1. ethics, especially that branch dealing with duty, moral obligation, and right action.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for deontology

Historical Examples of deontology

  • This edition does not include the Deontology, which, much rewritten, had been published by Bowring in 1834.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Slice 6


  • To Bowring we also owe the Deontology, which professes to represent Bentham's dictation.

British Dictionary definitions for deontology


  1. the branch of ethics dealing with duty, moral obligation, and moral commitment
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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 deontology


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper