paleontology

[ pey-lee-uh n-tol-uh-jee or, esp. British, pal-ee- ]
/ ˌpeɪ li ənˈtɒl ə dʒi or, esp. British, ˌpæl i- /

noun, plural pa·le·on·tol·o·gies for 2.

the science of the forms of life existing in former geologic periods, as represented by their fossils.
a treatise on paleontology.

Origin of paleontology

From the French word paléontologie, dating back to 1830–40. See pale(o)-, ontology

Related forms

pa·le·on·to·log·ic [pey-lee-on-tl-oj-ik or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ liˌɒn tlˈɒdʒ ɪk or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/, pa·le·on·to·log·i·cal, adjectivepa·le·on·to·log·i·cal·ly, adverbpa·le·on·tol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paleontology

Science definitions for paleontology

paleontology

[ pā′lē-ŏn-tŏlə-jē ]

The scientific study of life in the geologic past, especially through the study of animal and plant fossils.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for paleontology

paleontology

[ (pay-lee-uhn-tol-uh-jee) ]

The study of ancient life forms, particularly as they are seen in fossils.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.