[ ee-thol-uh-jee, ih-thol- ]
/ iˈθɒl ə dʒi, ɪˈθɒl- /


the study of animal behavior with emphasis on the behavioral patterns that occur in natural environments.

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


e·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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for ethology

British Dictionary definitions for ethology

/ (ɪˈθɒlədʒɪ) /


the study of the behaviour of animals in their normal environment

Derived forms of ethology

ethological (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

Scientific definitions for ethology

[ ĭ-thŏlə-jē, ē-thŏl- ]

The scientific study of animal behavior, especially as it occurs in a natural environment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.