• synonyms


  1. the study of live and fossil spores, pollen grains, and similar plant structures.
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Origin of palynology

1940–45; < Greek palýn(ein) to sprinkle, scatter (akin to pálē dust, Latin pollen; see pollen) + -o- + -logy
Related formspal·y·no·log·i·cal [pal-uh-nl-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌpæl ə nlˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, adjectivepal·y·no·log·i·cal·ly, adverbpal·y·nol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for palynology


  1. the study of living and fossil pollen grains and plant spores
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Derived Formspalynological (ˌpælɪnəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectivepalynologist, noun

Word Origin

C20: from Greek palunein to scatter + -logy
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

palynology in Science


  1. The scientific study of spores and pollen, both living and fossilized. Palynology helps improve knowledge of ecosystems in both the recent and distant past, since pollen and spores are extremely durable, unlike many other plant parts.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.