Origin of entomology

First recorded in 1760–70; entomo- + -logy
Related formsen·to·mo·log·i·cal [en-tuh-muh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌɛn tə məˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, en·to·mo·log·ic, adjectiveen·to·mo·log·i·cal·ly, adverben·to·mol·o·gist, nounnon·en·to·mo·log·ic, adjectivenon·en·to·mo·log·i·cal, adjectiveun·en·to·mo·log·i·cal, adjective
Can be confusedentomology etymology
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for entomology

Historical Examples of entomology

British Dictionary definitions for entomology


  1. the branch of science concerned with the study of insects
Derived Formsentomological (ˌɛntəməˈlɒdʒɪkəl) or entomologic, adjectiveentomologically, adverbentomologist, noun
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 entomology

1766, from French entomologie (1764), coined from Greek entomon "insect" + -logia "study of" (see -logy). Entomon is neuter of entomos "having a notch or cut (at the waist)," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + temnein "to cut" (see tome).

So called by Aristotle in reference to the segmented division of insect bodies. Compare insect. Related: Entomological. Hybrid insectology (1766, from French insectologie, 1744) is not much used.

I have given the name insectology to that part of natural history which has insects for its object; that of entomology ... would undoubtedly have been more suitable ... but its barbarous sound terryfy'd me. [Charles Bonnet's English translation of his "Contemplation de la nature," 1766]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

entomology in Medicine


  1. The study of insects.
Related formsen′to•mo•logic (-mə-lŏjĭk) null adj.en′to•molo•gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

entomology in Science


  1. The scientific study of insects.
Word History: Scientists who study insects (there are close to a million that can be studied!) are called entomologists. Why are they not called “insectologists”? Well, in a way they are. The word insect comes from the Latin word insectum, meaning “cut up or divided into segments.” (The plural of insectum, namely insecta, is used by scientists as the name of the taxonomic class that insects belong to.) This Latin word was created in order to translate the Greek word for “insect,” which is entomon. This Greek word also literally means “cut up or divided into segments,” and it is the source of the word entomology. The Greeks had coined this term for insects because of the clear division of insect bodies into three segments, now called the head, thorax, and abdomen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.