Etymology
Advertisement
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.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ecological (adj.)
1899, see ecology + -ical. Related: Ecologically.
Related entries & more 
eco- 
word-forming element referring to the environment and man's relation to it, abstracted from ecology, ecological; attested from 1969.
Related entries & more 
*weik- (1)
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "clan, social unit above the household."

It forms all or part of: antoecian; bailiwick; Brunswick; diocese; ecology; economy; ecumenical; metic; nasty; parish; parochial; vicinage; vicinity; viking; villa; village; villain; villanelle; -ville; villein; Warwickshire; wick (n.2) "dairy farm."

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit visah "house," vit "dwelling, house, settlement;" Avestan vis "house, village, clan;" Old Persian vitham "house, royal house;" Greek oikos "house;" Latin villa "country house, farm," vicus "village, group of houses;" Lithuanian viešpats "master of the house;" Old Church Slavonic visi "village;" Gothic weihs "village."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
hydric (adj.)
1796 as a term in chemistry, "of or containing hydrogen." From 1918 in ecology, "having plentiful water;" see hydro- + -ic.
Related entries & more 
bionomics (n.)

"science of organic evolution; ecology," 1888, coined by Scottish biologist Patrick Geddes from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + nomos "managing" (see -nomy) . Related: Bionomical.

Related entries & more 
mesic (adj.)

1926, in ecology, "characterized by a moderate amount of moisture," from Greek mesos "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + -ic. From 1939 in physics, "of or pertaining to a meson" (see meson).

Related entries & more 
environment (n.)

c. 1600, "state of being environed" (see environ (v.) + -ment); sense of "the aggregate of the conditions in which a person or thing lives" is by 1827 (used by Carlyle to render German Umgebung); specialized ecology sense first recorded 1956.

Related entries & more 
greens (n.)
c. 1400, "vegetables;" 1690s, "freshly cut branches used for decoration," from green (n.). Meaning "ecology political party" first recorded 1978, from German die Grünen (West Germany), an outgrowth of Grüne Aktion Zukunft "Green Campaign for the Future," a mainly anti-nuclear power movement, and/or grüne Listen "green lists" (of environmental candidates). Green (adj.) in the sense of "environmental" is attested in English from 1971; Greenpeace, the international conservation and environmental protection group, is from 1971.
Related entries & more