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See more synonyms for ornithology on Thesaurus.com
  1. the branch of zoology that deals with birds.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for ornithologist

Historical Examples

  • The man is not so much prized, we may believe, as the ornithologist.

    The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851


  • To this list we must now add the name of the ornithologist Le Vaillant.

  • Then Will, the ornithologist of his party, began to hear songs which were familiar to him.

    The Inca Emerald

    Samuel Scoville

  • This family presents the ornithologist with yet another problem in colouration.

    Birds of the Plains

    Douglas Dewar

  • Such is the voice of the bird yclept “canorus” by the ornithologist.

    Jungle Folk

    Douglas Dewar

British Dictionary definitions for ornithologist


  1. the study of birds, including their physiology, classification, ecology, and behaviour
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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 ornithologist


1670s, from ornithology + -ist.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ornithologist in Science


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