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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Newly remote workers wanted to know what was going on outside their window, says Joan Walsh, the Massachusetts conservation organization’s chair of field ornithology and natural history. Time, 14 Nov. 2022 Anatomy traded for organic chemistry, and entomology swapped for another animal equivalent like ornithology. Akil Kumarasamy, Harper’s Magazine , 17 Aug. 2022 Within the broader bird conservation and ornithology community, there have also been efforts to rename birds named after historical figures with racist legacies. Jacquelyne Germain, CNN, 27 July 2022 Hummingbird Books founder Wendy Dodson, who studied ornithology at Cornell, named the store after her favorite bird and said there will be an extensive nature and science section. BostonGlobe.com, 11 May 2022 See collection of beautiful ornithology books and colorful bird field guides. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 6 Mar. 2022 But here are five profiles from The Conversation’s archive that highlight the brilliance, grit and unique perspectives of five women who worked in geosciences, math, ornithology, pharmacology and physics during the 20th century. Maggie Villiger, The Conversation, 4 Mar. 2022 An expedition team of 18 – experts in history, nature, geology, marine biology, ornithology and photography – lectured and guided us, demonstrating daily and hourly flexibility to change exploration Plan A to Plan B whenever weather intervened. David G. Molyneaux, cleveland, 25 Feb. 2022 Including contributions by Nick Cave, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Lorna Simpson, this volume of 300 images, spanning art to fashion to ornithology, documents the importance of the avian world to all of human society. New York Times, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

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

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 9 Dec. 2022.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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