lim·​nol·​o·​gy | \ lim-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce limnology (audio) \

Definition of limnology

: the scientific study of bodies of fresh water (such as lakes)

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Other Words from limnology

limnological \ ˌlim-​nə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce limnology (audio) \ or less commonly limnologic \ ˌlim-​nə-​ˈlä-​jik How to pronounce limnology (audio) \ adjective
limnologist \ lim-​ˈnä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce limnology (audio) \ noun

Examples of limnology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the study of these critical near- and offshore zones isn’t traditionally recognized as a single discipline in the way of oceanography or limnology, the study of bodies of freshwater, such as rivers and lakes. Special To The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Columbia River tribes gain new clout with major acquisition," 9 July 2020 To buoy their project, the team is taking a uniquely collaborative approach that includes U.S. and Canadian researchers in geology, microbiology, limnology (the study of lakes) and oceanography. Laura Poppick, Smithsonian, "With Federal Funds Dwindling, Climate Scientists Turn to Unusual Partnerships to Study Methane in a Warming Arctic," 29 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'limnology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of limnology

circa 1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for limnology

borrowed from French limnologie, from Greek límnē "standing water, pool, marshy lake" + French -o- -o- + -logie -logy — more at limnetic

Note: French limnologie was introduced by the Swiss scientist François-Alphonse Forel (1841-1912), probably first in Le Léman: monographie lymnologique, tome 1 (Lausanne, 1892), p. vi: "Je dois expliquer ce néologisme, et m'en excuser si cela est nécessaire…J'ai donc dû chercher un mot plus modeste [que océanographie], et ne pouvant appeler mon étude la limnographie, car le mot limnographe est déjà réservé à certains appareils marégraphiques des lacs, force a été de forger le mot limnologie. La limnologie est donc l'océanographie des lacs." ("I must explain this neologism, and excuse myself for it if this is necessary…I then had to seek out a word more modest [than oceanography], and, not being able to call my study limnography, because the word 'limnograph' is already reserved for certain devices measuring tides in lakes, I was compelled to coin the word limnology. Limnology is the oceanography of lakes.")

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Time Traveler for limnology

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The first known use of limnology was circa 1888

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Cite this Entry

“Limnology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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