[ ee-thol-uh-jee, ih-thol- ]
See synonyms for: ethological on

  1. 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

Other words from ethology

  • e·tho·log·i·cal [ee-thuh-loj-i-kuhl, eth-uh-], /ˌi θəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, ˌɛθ ə-/, adjective
  • e·tho·log·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • e·thol·o·gist, noun

Words Nearby ethology Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ethology in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ethology


/ (ɪˈθɒlədʒɪ) /

  1. the study of the behaviour of animals in their normal environment

Origin of ethology

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

Derived forms of ethology

  • ethological (ˌɛθəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjective
  • ethologically, adverb
  • ethologist, 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

Scientific definitions for ethology


[ ĭ-thŏlə-jē, ē-thŏl- ]

  1. 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.