on·​tol·​o·​gy | \ än-ˈtä-lə-jē How to pronounce ontology (audio) \

Definition of ontology

1 : a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being Ontology deals with abstract entities.
2 : a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things that have existence

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Other Words from ontology

ontologist \ än-​ˈtä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce ontology (audio) \ noun

Examples of ontology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This ontology is more fundamental than the frothy influencer economy. Hari Kunzru, Harper's Magazine, 22 June 2021 This plan, if successful, would build a common taxonomy and ontology that connects any piece of health data to any other for faster and more complete population analysis. Peter Hovstadius, STAT, 30 Mar. 2021 Its drama of willful obliviousness is elevated, through Losey’s aesthetic, into a cinematic ontology. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2019 Temporalities, ontologies, and epistemologies are discussed. Nate Berg, Curbed, 7 Nov. 2018 With a prolific career including more than 90 works, Lin developed his own choreographic style blending Western dance with Eastern ontology. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, 27 Feb. 2018 Emezi describes this elaborate ontology in raw, sensual terms, steeping us in the smells and sights of her mythic world with incantatory lines that bring the ineffable to life. David Wright, The Seattle Times, 20 Feb. 2018 But when conducted best—including in Breville’s case, and despite Hoare’s insistence otherwise—design is more related to the philosophy of what things are, called ontology. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 20 July 2017

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

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First Known Use of ontology

1663, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ontology

New Latin ontologia, from ont- + -logia -logy

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Time Traveler for ontology

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The first known use of ontology was in 1663

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Last Updated

1 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ontology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ontology. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ontology

Britannica English: Translation of ontology for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ontology


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