or spe·lae·ol·o·gy

[ spee-lee-ol-uh-jee ]
/ ˌspi liˈɒl ə dʒi /


the exploration and study of caves.

Origin of speleology

1890–95; < Latin spēlae(um) (see spelaean) + -o- + -logy

Related forms

spe·le·o·log·i·cal [spee-lee-uh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌspi li əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, adjectivespe·le·ol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for speleologist



/ (ˌspiːlɪˈɒlədʒɪ) /


the scientific study of caves, esp in respect of their geological formation, flora and fauna, etc
the sport or pastime of exploring caves

Derived Forms

speleological or spelaeological (ˌspiːlɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectivespeleologist or spelaeologist, noun

Word Origin for speleology

C19: from Latin spēlaeum cave
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

Science definitions for speleologist


[ spē′lē-ŏlə-jē ]

The exploration and scientific study of the geological and ecological features of caves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.