This is a reference section to feed your brain and expand your word power.

Many English words end in -ology. Nearly all of them are names of recognised sciences or academic systems of study. The following list defines over 100 ‘-ologies’. Those which are not ‘sciences’ are shown in italics.

aerology The study of the atmosphere

anesthesiology, anaesthesiology The science of anaesthesia

anthology A collection of passages from literature, especially poems

anthropology The study of humankind, its developments and cultures

apology An expression of sorrow or regret

archeology, archaeology The study of the past by scientific analysis of the remains of human cultures

astrobiology A branch of biology concerned with the search for life on other planets

astrology The study of the positions and movements of the sun, moon and planets in relation to human personality and behaviour. Not to be confused with astronomy, the scientific study of heavenly bodies.

audiology The study of hearing

bacteriology The study of bacteria

biology The study of living organisms

cardiology A branch of medicine concerned with the study of the heart

chronology Arrangement of events in their correct sequence of time. The science of the measurement of time is called chronometry.

chronobiology A branch of biology concerned with time in relation to living organisms.

climatology The study of climates

cosmetology, cosmetiology The study of preparations and treatments designed to beautify the face.

cosmology The study of the origins and nature of the universe.

criminology The study of crime, criminal behaviour and law enforcement

cryobiology A branch of biology dealing with the effects of very low temperature on living organisms.

cytology The study of plant and animals cells.

demonology The study of demons.

dendrology A branch of botany concerned with trees and shrubs. Botany is the study and classification of plants.

dermatology A branch of medicine concerned with the study of the skin and skin diseases.

doxology A hymn in praise of God which forms part of a Christian liturgy.

ecology The study of relationships between living organisms and the environment.

embryology A branch of medicine concerned with the study of embryos.

endocrinology A branch of medicine concerned with the study of the endocrine glands.

entomology The scientific study of insects.

epistemology The critical study of knowledge.

ethnology A branch of anthropology dealing with races and people.

ethology The study of the behaviour of animals in their environment.

etymology The study of the sources and development of words.

exobiology Another name for astrobiology.

gastroenterology A branch of medicine concerned with the diseases of the stomach and intestines.

gastrology Another name for gastroenterology.

gemology, gemnology A branch of mineralogy concerned with gemstones.

geology The science of the origins and structure of the earth.

geneology is the wrong spelling of genealogy

genealogy (1) The tracing and charting of the descent of a person or group from their ancestors, (2) The study of the evolution of animals and plants.

gerontology The scientific study of ageing and elderly people.

graphology (1) The study of handwriting and its relationship to personality.

graphology (2) A branch of linguistics concerned with the study of writing systems.

gynecology, gynaecology A branch of medicine concerned with women’s diseases, especially in relation to the genital and urinary systems.

herpetology The study of reptiles and amphibians.

histology The microscopic study of tissues of living organisms.

horology The craft of making clocks and watches.

hydrology The study of water on earth and in the atmosphere.

ichnology The study of fossil footprints.

ichthyology The scientific study of fishes.

iconology The study of icons in art and the history of art.

ideology A set of beliefs and values of a person or particular group of people.

immunology A branch of biology concerned with the study of immunity.

iridology Examination of the iris of the eye as a way of medical diagnosis.

kinesiology The scientific study of human muscles and their mechanics.

lithology The study of rocks.

meteorology The study of the earth’s atmosphere and weather.

methodology A system of methods used in a particular subject.

metrology The science of weights and measurement of weight.

microbiology A branch of biology concerned with the study of microscopically small organisms.

minerology is the wrong spelling of mineralogy.

mineralogy A branch of geology concerned with the study of minerals.

morphology A branch of biology concerned with the structure of organisms.

musicology The study of music.

mycology A branch of botany concerned with the scientific study of funguses.

mythology (1) A body or collection of myths relating to or belonging to a particular culture.

mythology (2) The study of myths.

necrology A list of people who have recently died.

nephology The study of clouds.

nephrology A branch of medicine concerned with the diseases of the kidneys.

neurology The medical and scientific study of the nervous system.

numerology The study of numbers and their relationship to human experience.

oceanology The study of the human use of the sea. Oceanography is the scientific and geographical study of the sea.

ontology A branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of existence.

oology A branch of ornithology concerned with the study of birds’ eggs.

ophthalmology A branch of medicine concerned with the eye.

ornithology The scientific study of birds.

palaeontology The study of fossils in relation to evolution.

parapsychology The study of mental and psychic phenomena beyond the normal scope of psychology.

pathology (1) A branch of medicine concerned with the nature and the causes of disease. (2) The condition and progress of a disease.

penology The study of the prevention and punishment of crime.

petrology A branch of geology concerned with rocks.

pharmacology A branch of medicine concerned with the study of drugs and their effects.

philology The study of languages and their history through written texts.

phonology The study of sound systems in languages.

phraseology The ways in which words and phrases are used.

phrenology The study in past times of the relationship between the shape of the head and human behaviour.

physiology (1) The study of the functions of organisms and living things. (2) The processes and functions of the whole of an organism. Not to be confused with psychology or anatomy.

phytology Another name for botany.

proctology The branch of medicine concerned with the rectum.

psychology The study of human and animal behaviour. Not to be confused with psychiatry, the study and treatment of mental disorders.

psychophysiology A branch of psychology concerned with the relationship between physiology and mental processes.

radiology The study and use of x-rays and nuclear radiation in relation to the treatment of disease.

scatology (1) The scientific study of excrement in medical and palaentological science.

scatology (2) Obscene interest in excrement.

seismology A branch of geology concerned with the study of earthquakes.

selenology A branch of astronomy dealing with the moon.

serology The scientific study of serums.

sociology The study of the development and organisation of human society.

speleology A branch of geology concerned with the study of caves.

tautology The unnecessary repetition of words with the same meaning.

technology The study and application of scientific knowledge, especially relating to industry.

teleology In philosophy, the belief that events occur because they have a particular purpose.

terminology A group of specialised words relating to a particular subject.

theology The study of divinity, religious doctrine and belief.

toxicology The scientific study of poisons.

urology A branch of medicine dealing with the urogenital tract.

virology A branch of medicine concerned with the study of viruses.

volcanology, vulcanology The study of volcanoes.

zoology The scientific study of animals.


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