• synonyms


[ee-thol-uh-jee, ih-thol-]
See more synonyms for ethology on Thesaurus.com
  1. the study of animal behavior with emphasis on the behavioral patterns that occur in natural environments.
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Origin of ethology

1895–1900; earlier, as the study of relations between an organism and its environment < French éthologie, coined by French zoologist I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1805–61); see ethos, -logy
Related formse·tho·log·i·cal [ee-thuh-loj-i-kuh l, eth-uh-] /ˌi θəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, ˌɛθ ə-/, adjectivee·tho·log·i·cal·ly, adverbe·thol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ethological

personal, animal, mortal, humanoid, individual, anthropoid, biped, hominid, hominoid, anthropomorphic, anthropomorphous, civilized, fallible, fleshly, forgivable, anthropological, bipedal, creatural, ethological, hominine

Examples from the Web for ethological

Historical Examples of ethological

  • The only check or corrective is, constant verification by psychological and ethological laws.

    A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive

    John Stuart Mill

  • There has been an increasing awareness of the importance of ethological data and of their usefulness in systematics.

  • In the foregoing I have discussed the ethological relations of ants to a variety of other organisms.

British Dictionary definitions for ethological


  1. the study of the behaviour of animals in their normal environment
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Derived Formsethological (ˌɛθəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectiveethologically, adverbethologist, noun

Word Origin for ethology

C17 (in the obsolete sense: mimicry): via Latin from Greek ēthologia, from ēthos character; current sense, C19
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 ethological



late 17c., "mimicry," from Latin ethologia, from Greek ethologia, from ethos "character" (see ethos). As a branch of zoology, from 1897.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ethological in Science


[ĭ-thŏlə-jē, ē-thŏl-]
  1. The scientific study of animal behavior, especially as it occurs in a natural environment.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.