Etymology
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ecology (n.)
Origin and meaning of ecology

1873, oecology, "branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments," coined in German by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel as Ökologie, from Greek oikos "house, dwelling place, habitation" (from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan") + -logia "study of" (see -logy). In use with reference to anti-pollution activities from 1960s.

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ethnology (n.)

"science of the characteristics, history, and customs of the races of mankind," 1832, from ethno- + -logy, perhaps modeled on French or German. Related: Ethnologist; ethnological.

Ethnology is a very modern science, even later than Geology, and as yet hardly known in America, although much cultivated latterly in Germany and France, being considered an indispensable auxiliary to history and geography. ["Atlantic Journal and Friend of Knowledge," Philadelphia, summer 1832]
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micrology (n.)

1650s, "hair splitting, exaggerated attention to petty things," from Latinized form of Greek mikrologia "pettiness, care for trifles," from mikros (see micro-) + -logia (see -logy). By 1849 as "the part of science devoted to microscopic investigation," a separate coinage from microscope. Related: Micrological.

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pteridology (n.)

"the study of ferns as a branch of botany," 1850, with -logy + from Greek pteris "fern, bracken," probably originally "feather plant," so called for the form of the leaves, and related to pteron "wing" (from PIE root *pet- "to rush, to fly"). Compare fern, also supposed to be descended from a root meaning "feather." Related: Pteridologist (1845).

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mythology (n.)

early 15c., "exposition of myths, the investigation and interpretation of myths," from Late Latin mythologia, from Greek mythologia "legendary lore, a telling of mythic legends; a legend, story, tale," from mythos "myth" (a word of unknown origin; see myth) + -logia (see -logy "study"). Meaning "a body or system of myths" is recorded by 1781.

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phenology (n.)

"study of the influence of climate on recurring annual phenomena of animal and vegetable life," 1881, from German (phänologisch, Karl Fritsch, 1853) from Latin phaeno-, from Greek phaino-, from phainein "bring to light, cause to appear, show" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine"). With -logy. Related: Phenological (1873).

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pathology (n.)
"science of diseases," 1610s, from French pathologie (16c.), from medical Latin pathologia "study of disease," from Greek pathos "suffering" (from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer") + -logia "study" (see -logy). In reference to the study of abnormal mental conditions from 1842. Ancient Greek pathologia was "study of the passions;" the Greek word for "science of diseases" was pathologike ("pathologics").
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morphology (n.)

1824 in biology, "science of the outer form and inner structure of animals and plants," from German Morphologie (1817); see morpho- "shape" + -logy "study of." By 1869 in philology, "science of structure or forms in language." General sense of "shape, form, external structure or arrangement" is by 1890. Related: Morphological; morphologist. Related: Morphologist.

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scatology (n.)

"obscene literature," 1876, with -logy "treatise, study" + Greek skat-, stem of skōr (genitive skatos) "excrement," from PIE *sker- "excrement, dung" (source also of Latin stercus "dung"), on the notion of "to cut off;" see shear (v.), and compare shit (v.). Late 19c. dictionaries also give it a sense of "science of fossil excrement." Related: Scatological (1886).

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phraseology (n.)

1550s, coined erroneously by German humanist Michael Neander in Greek as phraseologia (1550s), from Greek phrasis "way of speaking" (see phrase (n.)) + -logia (see -logy). The correct form would be *phrasiology. Originally "a phrase book, a collection of phrases or idioms," the meaning "way of arranging words, characteristic style of expression, form of words used in expressing some thought" is from 1660s. Related: Phraseological.

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