taxonomy

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

Examples of taxonomy in a Sentence

the taxonomies of various plant groups
Recent Examples on the Web From a taxonomy point of view, digital money is a currency not held in physical form. Frank Van Gansbeke, Forbes, 28 June 2021 Haugen and his colleagues extend this taxonomy to include pure milers and 1,500/5,000 runners. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 11 June 2021 De Miranda often combines them with accounts of evolutionary history—a way of doing taxonomy while keeping up with the times. Eric Boodman, Wired, 29 May 2021 The Guardian’s environment editor Damian Carrington offers a handy taxonomy for figuring out what’s greenwashing and what’s real progress. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 19 May 2021 But taxonomy honors priority, so despite King’s misgivings his earlier name has prevailed. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2021 Certain other authors of both fiction and nonfiction have achieved a feat like his, forging an alternative taxonomy whereby they become permanently associated with a particular creature. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 Striking the right balance between financial interests and climate goals could determine which taxonomy is seen as more credible. Fortune, 3 July 2021 Hollywood Wives, Collins’s best-selling novel to date, skewers the quirks and toxicity of the moviemaking business—the pandering to male ego, the fragility of stardom, the ineffable taxonomy of who’s hot and who’s not. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 26 June 2021

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

borrowed from French taxonomie, from Greek táxis "arrangement, order" + French -o- -o- + -nomie -nomy — more at taxis

Note: French taxonomie was a coinage of the Geneva-born botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (1778-1841), in Théorie élémentaire de la botanique (Paris, 1813). Candolle divided botany into three divisions (p. 19): "… elle se compose 1.o de la Glossologie, c'est-à-dire, de la connaissance des termes par lesquels on designe les organes des plantes et leurs diverses modification; 2.o de la Taxonomie [footnote: "Mot formé de ταξις ordre, et νόμος loi, règle."], ou de la Théorie des classifications appliquée au règne végétal; 3.o de la Phytographie, ou de l'art de décrire les plantes de la manière la plus utile aux progrès de la science …" ("… it is composed of 1.o Glossology, that is, the recognition of the terms by which the organs of plants are designated, and their various modifications; ; 2.o Taxonomy [footnote: "Word formed from táxis order, and nómos law, rule."], or the theory of classifications applied to the vegetable kingdom; 3.o Phytography, or the art of describing plants in the manner most suited to the progress of science"). A more correct compounding form in terms of Greek word formation would have been taxi- (as táxis is an i-stem), and taxinomy did in fact see some use in the 19th century—though Candolle's original coinage has predominated. His parallel introductions, glossology and phytography, have rarely been employed.

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Time Traveler for taxonomy

Time Traveler

The first known use of taxonomy was circa 1828

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Dictionary Entries Near taxonomy

taxon

taxonomy

taxor

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Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Taxonomy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taxonomy. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for taxonomy

taxonomy

noun

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

taxonomy

noun
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

taxonomy

noun
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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about taxonomy

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