taxonomy

noun
tax·on·o·my | \tak-ˈsä-nə-mē \

Definition of taxonomy 

1 : the study of the general principles of scientific classification : systematics

2 : classification especially : orderly classification of plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from taxonomy

taxonomic \ˌtak-sə-ˈnä-mik \ or less commonly taxonomical \ˌtak-sə-ˈnä-mi-kəl \ adjective
taxonomically \ˌtak-sə-ˈnä-mi-k(ə-)lē \ adverb
taxonomist \tak-ˈsä-nə-mist \ noun

Examples of taxonomy in a Sentence

the taxonomies of various plant groups

Recent Examples on the Web

Skin tone taxonomies often lump complexion into broad categories, focusing on the spectrum of light and dark. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Pinterest Wants to Diversify Your Search Results," 26 Apr. 2018 As Susan Milius at Science News reports, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) recently updated the termite’s taxonomy, merging the families of their order Isoptera with those of the cockroach order Blattodea. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Termites Are Moving in With Cockroaches, Taxonomically," 5 Mar. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Most industries have established taxonomies that hide their flaws. The Economist, "Michel Foucault’s lessons for business," 21 June 2018 This dispiriting error of taxonomy drained a lot of the energy out of Project S.A.D., and also my kid was getting tired and cranky from walking around in the heat. Christopher Bonanos, The Cut, "Searching for Alan Dershowitz on Martha’s Vineyard," 5 July 2018 Computers are already proficient at picking stocks, translating speech, and diagnosing cancer, and their reach has begun to extend beyond calculation and taxonomy. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, "How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.?," 7 May 2018 Taking their findings back to begin a proper taxonomy, the team felt unsatisfied with Barney’s mammalian traits. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Science after hours: Barney’s aquatic traits and how pregnant women stay upright," 24 Feb. 2018 Our little suburban enclave had a complete taxonomy of bad road, from freeze-thaw potholes deep enough to reach the earth’s molten core, to aging asphalt that crumbled away in sheets. John Kelly, Washington Post, "From potholes to perfect pavement: My neighborhood has lovely new streets," 24 June 2018 The father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus, coined names to curry the favour (and open the purses) of rich patrons. Kevin Thiele, Smithsonian, "Why Scientists Name Species," 28 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of taxonomy

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for taxonomy

French taxonomie, from tax- + -nomie -nomy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about taxonomy

Dictionary Entries near taxonomy

Taxol

taxology

taxon

taxonomy

taxor

taxpayer

taxpaying

Statistics for taxonomy

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for taxonomy

The first known use of taxonomy was circa 1828

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for taxonomy

taxonomy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of taxonomy

: the process or system of describing the way in which different living things are related by putting them in groups

taxonomy

noun
tax·on·o·my | \tak-ˈsä-nə-mē \

Kids Definition of taxonomy

: classification of living things (as plants and animals) using a system that is usually based on natural relationships

taxonomy

noun
tax·on·o·my | \tak-ˈsän-ə-mē \
plural taxonomies

Medical Definition of taxonomy 

1 : the study of the general principles of scientific classification : systematics

2 : orderly classification of plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships

More from Merriam-Webster on taxonomy

Britannica English: Translation of taxonomy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about taxonomy

Comments on taxonomy

What made you want to look up taxonomy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!