tax·​on·​o·​my | \ tak-ˈsä-nə-mē How to pronounce taxonomy (audio) \

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

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Other Words from taxonomy

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

Examples of taxonomy in a Sentence

the taxonomies of various plant groups

Recent Examples on the Web

Beyond issues of taxonomy, Yuko’s powers are inconsistent. Nina Li Coomes, The Atlantic, "The Uneven Historical Horror of The Terror: Infamy," 2 Sep. 2019 But the taxonomy that emerged from this monumental effort has prompted both enlightenment and head scratching. Quanta Magazine, "Moonshine Link Discovered for Pariah Symmetries," 22 Sep. 2017 That’s largely due to thousands of specimens collected from the CCZ waiting to be described and classified through the painstaking and underfunded task of taxonomy. Todd Woody, National Geographic, "Do we know enough about the deep sea to mine it?," 24 July 2019 In November 2018, Uber released a taxonomy report -- the first step to releasing the transparency report. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Uber addresses workplace harassment as rider safety concerns linger," 16 July 2019 As early as 1909, folklorists started comparing the evolution of stories and organisms, envisioning Linnaean taxonomies and evolutionary trees, or phylogenies, for myths and tales. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 This ranked taxonomy — domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species — is foundational to biology pedagogy. Quanta Magazine, "What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists," 24 June 2019 Recent genetic findings have made gull taxonomy ever more involved, with more species and sub-species and hybrids to check off. Jennie Erin Smith, WSJ, "Book Review: A Squabble of Gulls," 14 June 2019 Some of Richard McGuire’s sequences are taxonomies: bird cages, hats, ice, or the collection of wire shapes that decorates the front matter of this book. The New York Review of Books, "Luc Sante," 13 Oct. 2016

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.

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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

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Statistics for taxonomy

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for taxonomy

The first known use of taxonomy was circa 1828

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English Language Learners Definition of taxonomy

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


tax·​on·​o·​my | \ tak-ˈsä-nə-mē How to pronounce taxonomy (audio) \

Kids Definition of taxonomy

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


tax·​on·​o·​my | \ tak-ˈsän-ə-mē How to pronounce taxonomy (audio) \
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 Encyclopedia article about taxonomy

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