• synonyms


  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 ornithology

Historical Examples of ornithology

  • June, of all the months, the student of ornithology can least afford to lose.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 104, June, 1866


  • And 'tis this freak of ornithology They mean who say, "A little bird told me."

    A Phenomenal Fauna

    Carolyn Wells

  • The song of the nightingale is the deadliest known to ornithology.

    Following the Equator, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • This kind of familiarity with birds has no necessary connection with ornithology.

    Birds in the Bush

    Bradford Torrey

  • The "Contributions" are devoted to the various departments of Ornithology.

British Dictionary definitions for ornithology


  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 ornithology


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ornithology 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.