or·​ni·​thol·​o·​gy ˌȯr-nə-ˈthä-lə-jē How to pronounce ornithology (audio)
plural ornithologies
: a branch of zoology dealing with birds
: a treatise on ornithology
ornithological adjective
or less commonly ornithologic
ornithologically adverb
ornithologist noun

Examples of ornithology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Between the early days of the artist-woodsman ornithologists and the death of Brasher a century and a half later, the science of ornithology spun off a vital and flourishing adjunct: birdwatching. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2023 Jennifer Ackerman is known for her ornithology books. Amy Sutherland, BostonGlobe.com, 8 June 2023 Rather, an outdoor vacation is an opportunity to explore the wonders of ocean life, geology, botany, ornithology, zoology and astronomy — particularly with the help of some portable tools that put field guides, encyclopedias, atlases and expert research in your pocket. Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times, 11 Aug. 2020 Since Whewell’s time, and even before then, a model of citizen science where researchers lead projects that everyday people participate in has prevailed in meteorology, ornithology, entomology, astronomy, biochemistry, and microbiology. Guest, Discover Magazine, 23 May 2017 The society was named 50 years after his death, when a founder, George Bird Grinnell, who had been tutored by Audubon’s widow Lucy, chose the name because of the artist’s contributions to ornithology. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 16 Mar. 2023 The science is basic ornithology: study the bird’s behavior, understand its habitat, and pattern its movements. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 18 Apr. 2023 Siri, what is ornithology? Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2021 Blacker Birders Week events included a celebration of Black nature enthusiasts, a bird fact challenge, a Q&A with Black birders, a livestreamed discussion called #BirdingWhileBlack, and a day highlighting Black women involved with birding and ornithology. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 18 June 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ornithology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin ornithologia, from ornith- + -logia -logy

First Known Use

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ornithology was in 1654

Dictionary Entries Near ornithology

Cite this Entry

“Ornithology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ornithology. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


or·​ni·​thol·​o·​gy ˌȯr-nə-ˈthäl-ə-jē How to pronounce ornithology (audio)
: a branch of zoology dealing with birds

More from Merriam-Webster on ornithology

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