[ tel-ee-uh-loj-i-kuh l, tee-lee- ]
/ ˌtɛl i əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, ˌti li- /

adjective Philosophy.

of or relating to teleology, the philosophical doctrine that final causes, design, and purpose exist in nature.
Sometimes tel·e·o·log·ic.

Origin of teleological

OTHER WORDS FROM teleological

tel·e·o·log·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·tel·e·o·log·i·cal, adjectivenon·tel·e·o·log·i·cal·ly, adverb

Definition for teleologic (2 of 2)

[ tel-ee-ol-uh-jee, tee-lee- ]
/ ˌtɛl iˈɒl ə dʒi, ˌti li- /

noun Philosophy.

the doctrine that final causes exist.
the study of the evidences of design or purpose in nature.
such design or purpose.
the belief that purpose and design are a part of or are apparent in nature.
(in vitalist philosophy) the doctrine that phenomena are guided not only by mechanical forces but that they also move toward certain goals of self-realization.

Origin of teleology

From the New Latin word teleologia, dating back to 1730–40. See teleo-, -logy


tel·e·o·log·i·cal [tel-ee-uh-loj-i-kuh l, tee-lee-] /ˌtɛl i əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, ˌti li-/, tel·e·o·log·ic, adjectivetel·e·ol·o·gism, nountel·e·ol·o·gist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for teleologic

  • Mr. Buckle might probably inquire whether we would eliminate wholly from history all philosophic aim, all teleologic purpose.

    Nineteenth Century Questions|James Freeman Clarke
  • It appears to me just as teleologic and divinatory as those I have previously named.

  • In words used before, and applied alike to the spiritual and the material, it is at once dynamic and teleologic.

    The Will to Doubt|Alfred H. Lloyd
  • Moreover, they are dynamic with the same reality and teleologic for the same end.

    The Will to Doubt|Alfred H. Lloyd

British Dictionary definitions for teleologic

/ (ˌtɛlɪˈɒlədʒɪ, ˌtiːlɪ-) /


  1. the doctrine that there is evidence of purpose or design in the universe, and esp that this provides proof of the existence of a Designer
  2. the belief that certain phenomena are best explained in terms of purpose rather than cause
  3. the systematic study of such phenomenaSee also final cause
biology the belief that natural phenomena have a predetermined purpose and are not determined by mechanical laws

Derived forms of teleology

teleological (ˌtɛlɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl, ˌtiːlɪ-) or teleologic, adjectiveteleologically, adverbteleologism, nounteleologist, noun

Word Origin for teleology

C18: from New Latin teleologia, from Greek telos end + -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