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Origin of ontology

From the New Latin word ontologia, dating back to 1715–25. See onto-, -logy
Related formson·to·log·i·cal [on-tl-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌɒn tlˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, on·to·log·ic, on·tol·o·gis·tic [on-tol-uh-jis-tik] /ɒnˌtɒl əˈdʒɪs tɪk/, adjectiveon·tol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ontology


  1. philosophy the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being
  2. logic the set of entities presupposed by a theory
Derived Formsontological, adjectiveontologically, adverb
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 ontology

"metaphysical science or study of being," 1660s (Gideon Harvey), from Modern Latin ontologia (c.1600), from onto- + -logy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper