Informally, an ology is a field of study or academic discipline ending in the suffix -ology.


The word ology is a back-formation from the names of these disciplines. Such words are formed from Greek or Latin roots with the terminal -logy derived from the Greek suffix -λογια (-logia), speaking, from λεγειν (legein), to speak. The word ology is thus misleading as the 'o' is actually part of the word stem that receives the -logy ending. For example, the bio part of biology stems from Greek βιος (bios), life. This is why some of the words do not end in -ology (such as mineralogy).

Other words ending in ology

Not all words ending in -ology are ologies in the above sense. In some words such as tautology and haplology, the -logy suffix is from the Greek λογοσ, word, and denotes not a field of study but a type of speech or writing. For example, haplology means the mistake of saying one letter, syllable or word when two or more are required, as in the example of pronouncing the word "February" somewhat like "Febuary".

It should also be pointed out that some words mean to study something, but aren't called ologies -- midwifery is one example.


Although technically incorrect, "-ology" is sometimes used to describe a subject rather than the study of it. Technology is a typical example. This usage is also widespread in medicine; for example, pathology is often used for specific disease ("We have not found the pathology yet").

A famous British television commercial of the 1980s has a Jewish student phoning his grandmother to confirm his exam results. He is disappointed that he has only passed Sociology, but his grandmother will have none of it. "Anthony," she insists, "if you get an ology, you're a scientist!"


A listing of ologies




  • Campanology, the study and the art of bell ringing
  • Cardiology, the study of the heart
  • Carpology, the study of the structure of seeds and fruit
  • Cerealogy, the study of crop circles
  • Cetology, the study of marine mammals
  • Chorology, the study of the relationship of biological or other phenomena to their locations
  • Chronology the study of things in order of time or the study of time
  • Climatology, the study of the climate
  • Conchology, the study of shells and of molluscs
  • Cosmology, the study of the cosmos or our place in it.
  • Craniology, the study of the characteristics of the skull
  • Criminology, the scientific study of crime.
  • Cryptology, the study of how to encrypt and decrypt secret messages
  • Cryptozoology, the study of animals that may or may not be mythical
  • Cytology, the study of biological cells




  • Gastrology or Gastroenterology - diseases of stomach and intestines
  • Genealogy (commonly misspelt as "genealogy"), the study of relationships within families particularly with a view to constructing family trees
  • Genecology, the study of genetic differences in relation to the environment
  • Geochronology, the study of the age of the Earth
  • Geology, the study of the Earth
  • Geomorphology, the study of present-day landforms, traditionally on Earth but with increasing frequency on nearby planetary objects
  • Gerontology, the study of old age
  • Glaciology, the study of glaciers
  • Grammatology, the study of writing systems
  • Graphology, the study of handwriting for the purpose of analysing the character of the writer
  • Gynaecology or Gynecology, the study of medicine relating to women, or of women in general


  • Hematology/Haematology, the study of blood
  • Heliology, the study of the Sun
  • Helioseismology, the study of vibrations and oscillations in the Sun
  • Helminthology, the study of parasitic worms
  • Hepatology, the study of the liver; a branch of medicine
  • Herbology, the study of the therapeutic use of plants
  • Herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians
  • Histology, the study of living tissues
  • Histopathology, the study of the (microscopic) structure of diseased tissuess
  • Historiology, the study of the writings and practices of historians
  • Horology, the study of making timepieces, measuring time and timekeeping
  • Hydrogeology, the study of underground water
  • Hydrology, the study of water



  • Japanology, the study of Japanese culture


  • Killology, the study of human beings killing other human beings (Grossman's Theory)
  • Kinesiology, the study of movement in relation to human anatomy; a branch of medicine
  • Koreanology, the study of Korea
  • Kremlinology, the study of communist Soviet Union
  • Kymatology, the study of waves or wave motions




  • Nanotechnology, the study and design of machines at the molecular level
  • Neonatology, the study of diseases and the care of newborn infants; a branch of pediatrics/paediatrics
  • Nephology, the study of clouds
  • Nephrology, the study of the kidneys and their diseases, a branch of medicine
  • Neurology, the study of nerves
  • Neuropathology, the study of neural diseases
  • Neurophysiology, the study of the functions of the nervous system
  • Nosology, the study of diseases
  • Nostology, the study of ageing and senility, in relation to a return to childish characteristics in old age
  • Numerology, the study of numbers (often in a non-mathematical sense)



  • Palaentology, the study of ancient creatures
  • Paleoanthropology, the study of ancient humans and human origin
  • Paleoclimatology, the study of climate prior to the widespread availability of records of temperature, precipitation, and other instrumental data
  • Palynology, the study of pollen
  • Parapsychology, the study of paranormal or psychic phenomenon that defy conventional scientific explanations
  • Parasitology, the study of parasites
  • Pathology, the study of illness
  • Pedology, the study of soil
  • Pekingology, the study of communist People's Republic of China
  • Penology, the study of prison management and criminal rehabilitation.
  • Petrology, the study of sedimentary organic matter in rocks
  • Pharmacology, the study of drugs
  • Phenomenology, the study and science of phenomena as distinct from the science of actual existence or being; also a movement founded by Husserl which studies conscious experience without its metaphysical concerns
  • Phonology, the study of vocal sounds
  • Phrenology, the derivation of a persons character traits, by studying the shape of their skull
  • Physiology, the study of bodies, usually of animals
  • Phytology, the study of plants; botany
  • Planktology, the study of plankton
  • Pneumology, the study of the lungs and related organs; a branch of medicine
  • Primatology, the study of primates
  • Psychobiology, the study and psychology of organisms with regard to their functions and structures
  • Psychology, the study of mental processes in humans
  • Psychophysiology, the study of the physiological bases of psychological processes


  • Radiology, the study of rays, usually ionising radiation
  • Reflexology, originally the study of reflexes or of reflex responses; but see also non-study list
  • Rheology, the study of flow
  • Rheumatology, the study of rheumatic diseases, a branch of medicine
  • Rhinology, the study of the nose and its diseases



  • Technology, the study of the practical arts (but see above)
  • Teleology, the study of ends or final causes
  • Teratology, the study of wonders, or monsters
  • Theriology, the study of mammals
  • Theology, the study of God
  • Thremmatology, the study of breeding domestic plants and animals
  • Tocology, the study of childbirth
  • Topology, the mathematical study of closeness and connectedness
  • Toxicology, the study of poisons
  • Traumatology, the study of wounds and injuries caused by accidents or assaults and their surgical treatment and repair; a branch of medicine
  • Tribology, the study of friction and lubrication
  • Typology, the study of classification


  • Urology, the study and treatment of diseases of the urogenital tract, a branch of medicine




  • Zooarchaeology, the study and analysis of animal remains at archaeological sites to reconstruct relationships between people, animals, and their environment (also see Archaeozoology)
  • Zoology, the study of animals
  • Zymology, the study of fermentation

Ologies that are not fields of study

Words ending in -ology that are not fields of study, and thus not "ologies" in the sense of this article, are:

  • Anthology, a collection of literary pieces (such as poems)
  • Apology
    • a statement of regret.
    • an explanation for or justification of beliefs.
  • Chronology is the arrangement or setting out of past events in order of occurrence; the recording of historical events in date sequence.
  • Deontology, the ethical theory concerned with duties and rights
  • Doxology, a spoken or sung end of a prayer.
  • Eulogy, though not an -ology, is a commemoration of a person's life at his/her funeral.
  • Hagiology is literature dealing with the life of a saint or, indeed, any revered person, a biography of an individual, rather than a study of saints, sainthood or saintliness in general.
  • Kibology, joke religion worshiping Kibo
  • Philology, the historical study of languages. This is not a ology in the strict sense, because it is not the study (-ologia) of love (philo-), but the love (philo-) of literature (logia).
  • Phraseology is the way words are put together, therefore the style being used in a sentence, or the set of phrases or the choice of words used by any particular group of people, a type of register, then, that reflects the form of language used in a certain social situation in which particular subjects are being discussed. Examples of register (phraseology) are: (obscene) slang, legal language (legalese), journalese, the jargon of the racecourse, or the special words or phrases used in certain occupations, as only a few of a very numerous category.
  • Reflexology, alternative method of massage, therapy or pressure on certain points of the sole of the feet as a means of relieving nervous tension
  • Scientology, the belief system/cult religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard, self-described as a study of knowledge.
  • Tautology, a self-affirming truth.
  • Terminology, a set of words and/or phrases, usually in relation to some particular canon or field of study e.g. 'mathematical terminology'.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot, an abnormality of the heart consisting of four deformities that often occur together
  • Trilogy (although not strictly an -ology) is a body of writing in three parts, as tetralogy is that in four parts. Other words such as pentalogy, hexalogy and heptalogy cover larger series.
  • Tropology, the use of tropes in speech or writing

See also

External links