ology n : an informal word (abstracted from words with this ending) for some unidentified branch of knowledge
EtymologyFrom the suffix “-ology” in the names of many sciences
- (RP): ˈɒlədʒi/, /"Ql@dZi/
- (US): , /ˈɑlədʒi/, /"Al@dZi/
- Any branch of learning, especially one ending in “-logy”.
- 1902: William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience - The ideal world, for them, is not a world of facts, but only of the meaning of facts; it is a point of view for judging facts. It appertains to a different "-ology," ...
The English suffix -ology or -logy denotes a field of study or academic discipline, and -ologist describes a person who studies that field. However not every field or study or discipline is an '-ology', for instance the study of childbirth is midwifery and a practitioner is a midwife.
EtymologyThe word ology is a back-formation from the names of these disciplines. "-logy" basically means "the study of ____". Such words are formed from Greek or Latin roots with the terminal -logy derived from the Greek suffix -λογια (-logia), from λόγος (logos) and that from λέγω (lego), to speak. The word ology is thus misleading as the 'o' is actually part of the word stem that receives the -logy ending. For example, the bio part of biology stems from Greek βιος (bios), life. This is why some of the words do not end in -ology (such as mineralogy).
Other words ending in "ology"Not all words ending in -ology are ologies in the above sense. In some words such as tautology, philology and haplology, the -logy suffix is from the Greek λογος (logos), word, and may denote something related to speech or text. Also called Emology for a scientific name.
UsageAlthough technically incorrect, "-ology" is sometimes used to describe a subject rather than the study of it. Technology is a typical example. This usage is also widespread in medicine; for example, pathology is often used for specific disease ("We haven't found the pathology yet").
"Ology" can be appended to any word, humorously, when describing its study; such as beer-ology or Wiki-ology. As with other Classical compounds, adding "ology" to a Latin or Greek based prefix may be used to lend grandeur or the impression of scientific rigor to humble pursuits, as in cosmetology (hairdressing) or cynology (dog training.)
There are a few irregular exceptions to the ending "-ologist"; for example theology/theologian.
They can also refer to the 'Ology series of books, fictional encyclopedias, currently including Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons, Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris, Wizardology: The Secrets of Merlin, Pirateology: A Pirate Hunter's Companion, and Mythology: Greek Gods, Heroes, & Monsters.
List of -ologies and what they study
- Acarology, the study of ticks and mites
- Actinobiology, the study of the effects of radiation upon living organisms
- Actinology, the study of the effect of light on chemicals
- Aerobiology, a branch of biology that studies organic particles, such as bacteria, fungal spores, very small insects and pollen, which are passively transported by the air.
- Aerology, the study of the atmosphere
- Aetiology, the medical study of the causation of disease
- Agnoiology, the study of things of which we are by nature ignorant, or of things which cannot be known
- Agrobiology, the study of plant nutrition and growth in relation to soil conditions
- Canada: the art and science of agriculture
- Non-Canada: the study of soils
- Agrostology, the study of grasses
- Algology, the study of algae
- Allergology, the study of the causes and treatment of allergies; a branch of medicine
- Andrology, the study of male health and disease
- Anesthesiology, the study of anesthesia and anesthetics; a branch of medicine
- Angelology, the study of angels
- Angiology, the study of the anatomy of blood and lymph vascular systems
- Anthropology, the study of humans
- Apiology, the study of bees (apiaries)
- Arachnology, the study of spiders and their kind
- Archaeology, the study of past cultures through the analysis of material remains
- Archaeozoology, the study of relationships between humans and animals over time through examination of animal remains at archaeological sites (also see Zooarchaeology)
- Areology, the study of Mars
- Assyriology, the study of the Assyrians
- Astacology, the study of crawfish
- Asteroseismology, the study of the internal structures of stars as revealed by their oscillations (see also Helioseismology).
- Astrobiology, the study of origin of life
- Astrogeology, the study of geology of celestial bodies (e.g., planets, asteroids, comets)
- Astrology, the study of the purported influence(s) of celestial bodies on earthly affairs
- Astrometeorology: using astrology to forecast the weather
- Atmology, the study of the laws and phenomena of aqueous vapors
- Audiology, the study of hearing; a branch of medicine
- Autecology, the study of the ecology of any individual species
- Autology, the attribute (of a word) of being self descriptive. The word "polysyllabic" is autological because it is polysyllabic. (compare heterology)
- Auxology, the study of human growth.
- Axiology, the study of the nature of values and value judgements
- bacteriology, study of bacteria
- balneology, the science of the therapeutic use of baths
- barodynamics, science of the support and mechanics of bridges
- barology, study of gravitation
- batology, the study of brambles
- bibliology, study of books
- bibliotics, study of documents to determine authenticity
- bioecology, study of interaction of life in the environment
- biology, study of life
- biometrics, study of biological measurement
- bionomics, study of organisms interacting in their environments
- botany, study of plants
- bromatology, study of food
- brontology, scientific study of thunder
- Campanology, the study and the art of bell ringing
- Cardiology, the study of the heart
- Cariology, the study of cells
- Cereology, the study of crop circles
- Cartography, the study of maps and mapmaking
- Cetology, the study of cetaceans - whales, dolphins, and porpoise
- Characterology, the study of character
- Christology, the theological study of redemption (christos > christein: to sacrament), not only speaking of Christianity but also extended to religion in general
- Chorology, the study of the relationship of biological or other phenomena to their locations
- Chronology the study of things in order of time or the study of time
- Climatology, the study of the climate
- Codicology, the study of the preparation of books and manuscripts (ink, paper, vellum etc)
- Coleopterology, the study of beetles
- Coniology, the study of dust in the atmosphere and its effects on plants and animals, also spelled "koniology"
- Conchology, the study of shells and of molluscs
- Contrology, a neologism for the Pilates method, a system of physical exercise
- Cosmology, the study of the cosmos or our place in it
- Cosmetology, the study of cosmetics and their use
- Craniology, the study of the characteristics of the skull
- Criminology, the scientific study of crime
- Cryology, the study of very low temperatures and related phenomena.
- Cryptology, the study of how to encrypt and decrypt secret messages
- Cryptozoology, the study of animals that may or may not be mythical
- Cynology, the study of dogs
- Cytomorphology, the study of the structure of cells
- Cytology, the study of cells
- Deltiology, the study of, but more often the collecting of, picture postcards
- Demonology, the study of demons
- Dendrochronology, the study of the age of trees and the records in their rings
- Dendrology, the study of trees
- Deontology, in ethics, the study of duty.
- Dermatology, the field of medicine that deals with the skin
- Dermatopathology, the field of dermatological anatomical pathology
- Desmology, the study of ligaments
- Dialectology, the study of dialects
- Dipterology, the study of flies
- Diabetology, the study of diabetes mellitus
- Doxology, a liturgical expression of praise to God
- Dragonology, the study of dragons
- Ecclesiology, the study of Church architecture and decoration, or separately the study of the Christian Church
- Ecogeomorphology, or biogeomorphology, the study of interactions between organisms and geomorphological processes
- Ecohydrology, the study of interactions among organisms and the water cycle.
- Ecology, the study of the interrelationships between living organisms and their environment. Sometimes spelled "œcology".
- Economic geology is concerned with earth materials that can be utilized for economic and/or industrial purposes.
- Ecophysiology, the study of the interrelationship between an organism's physical functioning and its environment
- Edaphology, a branch of soil science that studies the influence of soil on life.
- Egyptology, the study of the ancient Egyptians
- Electrophysiology, the study of the relationship between electric phenomena and bodily processes
- Embryology, the study of embryos
- Emetology, the study or knowledge of emetics
- Endocrinology, the study of internal secretory glands
- Ecchinology, the study of cheeses.
- Enigmatology, the study of puzzles
- Enology (or Oenology), the study of wine and winemaking
- Entomology, the study of insects
- Enzymology, the study of enzymes
- Epidemiology, the study of the origin and spread of diseases
- Epistemology, the study of the nature and origins of knowledge
- Escapology, the practice of escaping from restraints or other traps.
- Eschatology, a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of mankind
- Ethnology, the study of race
- Ethnomusicology, the study of music in society, usually non-western music
- Ethology, the study of animal behaviour
- Etiology, same as Aetiology
- Etymology, the study of word origins
- Eulogy, the speech of praise
- Evolutionary biology, the study of the process of biological evolution
- Evolutionary psychology, the study of the process of (usually) human psychological evolution.
- Exobiology, the study of life in outer space
- Felinology, the study of cats
- Ferroequinology, the study of railways, particularly locomotives.
- Fetology, the study of the fetus, especially when within the uterus. Sometimes spelled foetology.
- Formicology, the study of ants
- Fungology, fungus + -ology, see mycology.
- Futurology, the study of the future
- Garbology - study of refuse and trash
- Gastrology or Gastroenterology - diseases of stomach and intestines
- Gemmology or Gemology, the study of gemstones and ornamental materials
- Genealogy (commonly misspelled and mispronounced as "geneology"), the study of relationships within families particularly with a view to constructing family trees
- Genecology, the study of genetic differences in relation to the environment
- Geobiology, the study of the biosphere and its relations to the lithosphere and atmosphere.
- Geochronology, the study of the age of the Earth
- Geology, the study of the Earth
- Geomorphology, the study of present-day landforms, traditionally on Earth but with increasing frequency on nearby planetary objects
- Gerontology, the study of old age
- Glaciology, the study of glaciers
- Grammatology, the study of writing systems. Also the study of deconstructive literary criticism, popularized in the 1960s by Jacques Derrida
- Graphology, the study of handwriting for the purpose of analysing the character of the writer
- Grossology, the study of gross (slang) and disgusting things. Fictional; book title
- Gynaecology or Gynecology, the study of medicine relating to women, or of women in general
- Hematology/Haematology, the study of blood
- Heliology, the study of the Sun
- Helioseismology, the study of vibrations and oscillations in the Sun
- Helminthology, the study of parasitic worms. See Vermeology.
- Hepatology, the study of the liver; a branch of medicine
- Herbology, the study of the therapeutic use of plants
- Herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians
- Heterology, the attribute (of a word) of not being self descriptive. The word "monosyllabic" is heterological because it is not monosyllabic. (compare autology)
- Heteroptology, the study of true bugs
- Hieroglyphology, Egyptian hieroglyphics, an ancient writing system
- Hierographology, the study of sacred texts
- Hierology, a more inclusive term for theology
- Hippology, study of horses
- Histology, the study of living tissues
- Histopathology, the study of the (microscopic) structure of diseased tissues
- Historiology, the study of the writings and practices of historians
- Homology, concept in anthropology, biology, algebraic topology, and sociology, meaning "likeness in structure"
- Horology, the study of making timepieces, measuring time and timekeeping (also the study of time)
- Hydrogeology, the study of underground water
- Hydrology, the study of water
- Hypnology, the study of sleep (also: somnology)
- Ichnology, the study of fossil footprints, tracks, and burrows
- Ichthyology, the study of fish
- Ideology, the study of ideas throughout society both socially,politically,historically and literary
- Immunology, the study of the immune system
- Indology, the study of the history, languages, and cultures of the Indian subcontinent
- Iranology, the study of history, literature, art and culture of Iran (Persia)
- Islamology, the study of the Islam
- Japanology, the study of Japanese people
- Laryngology, the study of the larynx, or voice box; a branch of medicine
- Lepidopterology, the study of butterflies and moths
- Lexicology, the study of the signification and application of words
- Limnology, the study of fresh water environments, particularly lakes
- Lithology, the study of rocks
- Ludology, the study of video games
- Lymphology, the study of the lymph system and glands
- Malacology, the study of mollusks
- Mammalogy, the study of mammals
- Mereology, a branch of logic focusing on the study of part-whole relationships
- Meteorology, the study of weather
- Methodology, (properly) the study of methods
- Metrology, the study of measurement
- Microbiology, the study of micro-organisms.
- Micrology, the science of preparing and handling microscopic objects for study.
- Mineralogy, the study of minerals
- Missiology, the study of missions and missionary work
- Mixology, the study or skill of preparing mixed drinks.
- Molinology, the study of windmills, watermills and animal engines.
- Monadology, a book by Leibniz on the study of his theory of monads.
- Morphology, the study of forms that is used in several other fields (biology, linguistics, astronomy, etc.)
- Museology, the study of museum management.
- Musicology, the study of music
- Mycology, the study of fungi
- Myology the scientific study of muscles
- Myrmecology, the study of ants
- Mythology, the study of myths
- Nanotechnology, the study and design of machines at the molecular level
- Nanotribology, the study of friction on a very small (atomic) scale
- Nematology, the study of nematodes
- Neonatology, the study of diseases and the care of newborn infants; a branch of pediatrics/paediatrics
- Nephology, the study of clouds
- Nephrology, the study of the kidneys and their diseases, a branch of medicine
- Neurology, the study of nerves
- Neuropathology, the study of neural diseases
- Neurophysiology, the study of the functions of the nervous system
- Nosology, the study of disease classification
- Numerology, the study of numbers (often in a non-mathematical sense)
- Nutriology, the study of nutrition
- Oceanology, the study of oceans
- Odonatology, the study of dragonflies and damselflies
- Odontology, the study of the structure, development, and abnormalities of the teeth
- Oenology, the study of wine
- Omnology, the study of everything
- Oncology, the study of cancer
- Oneirology, the study of dreams
- Onomatology, the study of proper names
- Ontology, the study of existence
- Oology, the study of eggs
- Ophthalmology, the study of the eyes
- Organology, the study of musical instruments (not just organs); alternatively, the study of anatomical organs
- Ornithology, the study of birds
- Orology, the study of mountains and their mapping
- Orthopterology, the study of grasshoppers and crickets
- Osteology, the study of bones
- Otolaryngology, the study of the ear and throat; a branch of medicine
- Otology, the study of the structure, function, and pathology of the ear
- Otorhinolaryngology, the same as otolaryngology
- Paleoanthropology, the study of prehistoric people and human origins
- Paleobiology, the study of prehistoric life
- Paleobotany, the study of prehistoric metaphytes (i.e., multicellular plants)
- Paleoclimatology, the study of prehistoric climates
- Paleoecology, the study of prehistoric environments by analyzing fossils and rock strata
- Paleontology, the study of fossils of ancient life
- Paleophytology (see "paleobotany"), the study of ancient multicelled plants
- Paleozoology, the study of prehistoric metazoans (i.e., multicellular animals)
- Palynology, the study of pollen
- Parapsychology, the study of paranormal or psychic phenomenon that defy conventional scientific explanations
- Parasitology, the study of parasites
- Pathology, the study of illness
- Pedology (soil study), one of two main branches of soil science
- Pedology (children study)
- Penology, the study of prison management and criminal rehabilitation.
- Personology, a variant of physiognomy
- Petrology, the study of rocks and the conditions by which they form
- Pharmacology, the study of drugs
- Phenology, the study of periodic biological phenomena such as flowering, migration, breeding, etc.
- Phenomenology, the study and science of phenomena as distinct from the science of actual existence or being; also a movement founded by Husserl which studies conscious experience without its metaphysical concerns
- Philology, the study of a language together with its literature
- Phlebology, a branch of medicine that deals with the venous system
- Phonology, the study of vocal sounds
- Phrenology, the derivation of a persons character traits, by studying the shape of their skull
- Phycology, the study of algae
- Physiology, the study of mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms
- Phytology, the study of plants; botany
- Phytopathology ("Plant pathology"), the study of plant diseases
- Phytosociology, the study of the ecology of plant communities
- Piphilology, the mnemonic practice of writing sentences such that the numbers of letters in the words correspond to the consecutive digits of pi
- Planetology, the study of planets and solar systems; more commonly called Planetary science
- Planktology, the study of plankton
- Pneumology, a synonym of Pulmonology
- Pomology, the scientific study and cultivation of fruits
- Posology, the study of drug dosage
- Primatology, the study of primates
- Proctology, the study of the hind regions (rectum, anus, colon and pelvic floor) of the body
- Psephology, the study, especially statistical, of elections.
- Psychobiology, the study and psychology of organisms with regard to their functions and structures
- Psychology, the study of mental processes in living creatures
- Psychopathology, the study of the mental processes within mental illness or disorders
- Psychopharmacology, the study of psychotropic or psychiatric drugs
- Psychophysiology, the study of the physiological bases of psychological processes
- Pulmonology, the specialty in medicine that deals with diseases of the lungs and the respiratory tract
- Radiology, the study of rays, usually ionising radiation
- Redology, the study of the classical Chinese literary masterpiece Dream of the Red Chamber
- Reflexology, originally the study of reflexes or of reflex responses; but see also non-study list
- Rheology, the study of flow
- Rheumatology, the study of rheumatic diseases, a branch of medicine
- Rhinology, the study of the nose and its diseases
- Ripperology, the study of Jack the Ripper and the crimes associated with him
- RKOlogy , the study of RKOs
- Sarcology, a subsection of anatomy that studies the soft parts. It includes myology, angiology, neurology, and splanchnology
- Scatology, the study of feces
- Scientology, the applied religious philosophy created by American writer L. Ron Hubbard
- Sedimentology, a branch of geology that studies sediments.
- Seismology, the study of earthquakes
- Selenology, the study of the moon
- Semiology, the study of signs
- Semitology, the study of Semitic cultures
- Serology, the study of blood serum
- Serpentology, the study of snakes
- Sexology, the study of sex
- Sindonology, the study of the Shroud of Turin
- Sinology, the study of China
- Sitiology, dietetics, the study of diet. Also, a treatise on diet. Also spelled "sitology"
- Sociology, the study of society
- Sociobiology, the study of the effect of evolution on ethology
- Somnology, the study of sleep, also: hypnology
- Somatology, study of human characteristics
- Soteriology the study of the doctrine of salvation, especially as related to Christianity
- Sovietology, the study of communist Soviet Union
- Speleology, the study or exploration of caves
- Splanchnology, the study of the viscera
- Sporalogy, a parody of astrology
- Stemmatology, a discipline that attempts to reconstruct the transmission of a text (especially a text in manuscript form) on the basis of relations between the various surviving manuscripts
- Stomatology, study of the mouth and its diseases.
- Sumerology, the study of the Sumerians.
- Symbology, the study and interpretation of symbols, or a set of symbols. Also used for types of barcodes
- Symptomatology, the study of symptoms
- Synecology, the study of the ecological interrelationships among communities of organisms
- Syphilology, the study of syphilis
- Taxology, a synonym for taxonomy
- Technology, the study of the practical arts (but see above)
- Teleology, the study of ends or final causes
- Teratology, the study of wonders, or monsters
- Terminology, the usage and study of terms.
- Thanatology, the study of physical, psychological and social problems associated with dying.
- Thermology, the study of heat.
- Theology, the study of God or gods
- Tibetology, the study of Tibet
- Tocology, the study of childbirth, sometimes spelled "tokology".
- Tonology, the study of intonation in speech
- Topology, the mathematical study of closeness and connectedness
- Toxicology, the study of poisons
- Traumatology, the study of wounds and injuries caused by accidents or assaults and their surgical treatment and repair; a branch of medicine
- Tribology, the study of friction and lubrication
- Trichology, the study of hair and the scalp
- Typology, the study of classification
- Ufology, the study of Unidentified flying object (UFO) phenomena.
- Universology, The science of the universe, and the relations which it involves.
- Unology, the science and study of unity in all of its forms.
- Uranology, The branch of physics that studies celestial bodies and the universe as a whole.
- Urbanology, The study of urban problems, esp. as a social science.
- Urology, the study and treatment of diseases of the urogenital tract, a branch of medicine. Sometimes spelled "ourology".
- Uronology, That part of medicine which treats of urine.
- Uroradiology, Examination of the urinary tract by radiological techniques.
- Vaccinology, the study of vaccines
- Venereology, the study of venereal diseases
- Vexillology, the study of flags
- Victimology, the study of victims of crime, often applied to characterizing the criminal
- Virology, the study of viruses
- Volcanology (also spelled vulcanology), the study of volcanoes and related phenomena (traps)
- Zooarchaeology, the study and analysis of animal remains at archaeological sites to reconstruct relationships between people, animals, and their environment (also see Archaeozoology)
- Zoology, the study of animals
- Zoopathology ("Animal pathology"), the study of animal diseases
- zoopsychology, the study of mental processes in animals
- Zymology, the study of fermentation
Ologies that are not fields of studyWords ending in -ology that are not fields of study, and thus not "ologies" in the sense of this article, are:
- Anthology, a collection of literary pieces (such as poems).
- a statement of regret.
- an explanation for or justification of beliefs.
- Arcology - enormous habitat (hyperstructure) of extremely high human population density.
- Chronology is the arrangement or setting out of past events in order of occurrence; the recording of historical events in date sequence.
- Cosmetology, the art and career of using cosmetics to improve beauty.
- ambiguous or equivocal speech, or
- a work composed in two parts (see trilogy)
- Docimology, a treatise on the art of testing, e.g. in assaying metals.
- Doxology, a spoken or sung end of a prayer.
- Eulogy, though not an -ology, is a commemoration of a person's life at his/her funeral.
- Hagiology is literature dealing with the life of a saint or, indeed, any revered person, a biography of an individual, rather than a study of saints, sainthood or saintliness in general.
- Heterology, a dissimilarity of parts often attributable to a difference in origin.
- Homology, a similarity often atributable to common origin
- Ideology, sometimes spelled idealogy, is a system of ideas about politics, human life or culture.
- Kibology, joke religion worshiping Kibo.
- Menology, a register of months, or a calendar of the lives of the saints for each day of the year.
- Necrology, a list of people who have died, especially in the recent past or during a specific period.
- Philology, the historical study of languages. This is not a ology in the strict sense, because it is not the study (-ologia) of love (philo-), but the love (philo-) of literature (logia).
- Phraseology is the way words are put together, therefore the style being used in a sentence, or the set of phrases or the choice of words used by any particular group of people, or a type of register that reflects the form of language used in a certain social situation in which particular subjects are being discussed.
- Piphilology seems to be a borderline case with some aspects of a field of study, but not a scientific discipline.
- Reflexology, alternative method of massage, therapy or pressure on certain points of the sole of the feet as a means of relieving nervous tension.
- Tautology, a self-affirming truth.
- Terminology, a set of words and/or phrases, usually in relation to some particular canon or field of study e.g. 'mathematical terminology'.
- Tetralogy of Fallot, an abnormality of the heart consisting of four deformities that often occur together.
- Trilogy (although not strictly an -ology) is a body of writing in three parts, as tetralogy is that in four parts. Other words such as pentalogy, hexalogy, heptalogy or septology, octology, nonology, and dekology cover larger series.
- Tropology, the use of tropes in speech or writing.
- A Zumology is a treatise on the fermentation of liquors.
ology in German: -logie
ology in Malay (macrolanguage): -logi
ology in Japanese: -logy
ology in Turkish: -loji
ology in Urdu: فہرست علوم