• synonyms


  1. the science dealing with the influence of climate on the recurrence of such annual phenomena of animal and plant life as budding and bird migrations.
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Origin of phenology

1880–85; syncopated variant of phenomenology, with restriction to climatic phenomena
Related formsphe·no·log·i·cal [feen-l-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌfin lˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, adjectivephe·no·log·i·cal·ly, adverbphe·nol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phenology

Historical Examples

  • The study of the relations between weather and crops is really a branch of a science of broader254 scope, known as phenology.


    Charles Fitzhugh Talman

  • A study of phenology would throw much light on the failure of pears to ripen properly.

  • Changes in the phenology of growth from year to year according to weather conditions were noted.

British Dictionary definitions for phenology


  1. the study of recurring phenomena, such as animal migration, esp as influenced by climatic conditions
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Derived Formsphenological (ˌfiːnəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectivephenologist, noun

Word Origin

C19: from pheno (menon) + -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

Word Origin and History for phenology


"study of the influence of climate on recurring natural phenomena," 1881, from German (phänologisch, Karl Fritsch, 1853) from Latin phaeno-, from Greek phaino-, from phainein "to show" (see phantasm) + -logy. Related: Phenological (1875).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phenology in Science


  1. The scientific study of cyclical biological events, such as flowering, breeding, and migration, in relation to climatic conditions. Phenological records of the dates on which seasonal phenomena occur provide important information on how climate change affects ecosystems over time.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.