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[tak-son-uh-mee] /tækˈsɒn ə mi/
noun, plural taxonomies.
the science or technique of classification.
a classification into ordered categories:
a proposed taxonomy of educational objectives.
Biology. the science dealing with the description, identification, naming, and classification of organisms.
Origin of taxonomy
1805-15; French taxonomie. See taxo-, -nomy
Related forms
[tak-suh-nom-ik] /ˌtæk səˈnɒm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
taxonomical, adjective
taxonomically, adverb
taxonomist, taxonomer, noun
nontaxonomic, adjective
nontaxonomical, adjective
nontaxonomically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for taxonomy
  • The taxonomy and phylogeny favoured by these authors is depicted in the adjacent diagram.
  • It isn't a bad emblem for the broader changes transforming the science of taxonomy.
  • The management decision deals with far more than taxonomy.
  • But it is possible to attempt a euphemistic taxonomy.
  • The ethnic terminology used in the medical literature can be rather ill-suited to the task of biological taxonomy.
  • Consider the flowing taxonomy of medical innovations.
  • The taxonomy of the cycadophyta is, however, now stabilizing.
  • The taxonomy of the large whiteheaded gulls is particularly complicated.
  • The history of hominoid taxonomy is somewhat confusing and complex.
  • Evolutionary taxonomy insists that groups reflect phylogenies.
British Dictionary definitions for taxonomy


  1. the branch of biology concerned with the classification of organisms into groups based on similarities of structure, origin, etc
  2. the practice of arranging organisms in this way
the science or practice of classification
Derived Forms
taxonomic (ˌtæksəˈnɒmɪk), taxonomical, adjective
taxonomically, adverb
taxonomist, taxonomer, noun
Word Origin
C19: from French taxonomie, from Greek taxis order + -nomy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for taxonomy

1828, from French taxonomie (1813), introduced by Linnæus and coined irregularly from Greek taxis "arrangement" (see taxidermy) + -nomia "method," from -nomos "managing," from nemein "manage" (see numismatics).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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taxonomy in Medicine

taxonomy tax·on·o·my (tāk-sŏn'ə-mē)

  1. The classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships.

  2. The science, laws, or principles of classification; systematics.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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taxonomy in Science

The scientific classification of organisms into specially named groups based either on shared characteristics or on evolutionary relationships as inferred from the fossil record or established by genetic analysis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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taxonomy in Culture
taxonomy [(tak-son-uh-mee)]

The classification of living things. (See Linnean classification.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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