Definition of teleological
: exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature
teleologicallyplay \-ji-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
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Recent Examples of teleological from the Web
Such teleological smugness (to which Barack Obama was likewise prone) doesn’t just attract the ire of conservatives; liberals can get miffed, too.
Parenting is teleological; parents rear a child to become an adult.
Although D&G would probably find the book's ominous conclusion overly teleological, the climax is nonetheless quite a trip.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'teleological.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Teleological (which comes to us by way of New Latin from the Greek root tele-, telos, meaning "end or purpose") and its close relative teleology both entered English in the 18th century, followed by teleologist in the 19th century. Teleology has the basic meaning of "the study of ends or purposes." A teleologist attempts to understand the purpose of something by looking at its results. A teleological philosopher might argue that we should judge whether an act is good or bad by seeing if it produces a good or bad result, and a teleological explanation of evolutionary changes claims that all such changes occur for a definite purpose.
First Known Use of teleological
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