the branch of zoology that deals with birds.

Origin of ornithology

From the New Latin word ornithologia, dating back to 1645–55. See ornitho-, -logy
Related formsor·ni·tho·log·i·cal [awr-nuh-thuh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌɔr nə θəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, or·ni·tho·log·ic, adjectiveor·ni·tho·log·i·cal·ly, adverbor·ni·thol·o·gist, nounun·or·ni·tho·log·i·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ornithological

Contemporary Examples of ornithological

Historical Examples of ornithological

  • The ornithological world is peopled by two classes of human beings.

    Birds of the Plains

    Douglas Dewar

  • I have never seen any mention of this in an ornithological treatise.

    Birds of the Plains

    Douglas Dewar

  • Thus, quite unconsciously, was an ornithological fact elucidated.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

  • I do not know how I came to see them, for I was not in an ornithological frame of mind.


    John Burroughs

  • In ornithological works it is described under the former of these names.

British Dictionary definitions for ornithological



the study of birds, including their physiology, classification, ecology, and behaviour
Derived Formsornithological (ˌɔːnɪθəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectiveornithologically, adverbornithologist, 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 ornithological

1802, from ornithology + -ical. Related: Ornithologically.



1670s, from Modern Latin ornithologia (1590s); see ornitho- + -logy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ornithological in Science



The scientific study of birds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.