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[pey-lee-uh n-tol-uh-jee or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ li ənˈtɒl ə dʒi or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/
noun, plural paleontologies for 2.
the science of the forms of life existing in former geologic periods, as represented by their fossils.
a treatise on paleontology.
Origin of paleontology
1830-40; < French paléontologie. See pale(o)-, ontology
Related forms
[pey-lee-on-tl-oj-ik or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ liˌɒn tlˈɒdʒ ɪk or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/ (Show IPA),
paleontological, adjective
paleontologically, adverb
paleontologist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for paleontologist
  • Tell students that they will play the role of a paleontologist by creating a site map based on this fossil find.
  • Since she was little she has always wanted to be a paleontologist and recently decided to pursue a career as a professor.
  • The challenges a paleontologist faces in reconstructing the life of the past are not much different.
  • Horner is an eminent paleontologist, and was a consultant on the movie.
  • His father is a paleontologist and the first in his family to go to college.
  • His father is a paleontologist and was the first in his family to go to college.
  • Since this is a working research center the paleontologist and his crew are actively doing fossil science in the lab.
Word Origin and History for paleontologist

1836, from paleontology + -ist.



1833, probably from French paléontologie, from Greek palaios "old, ancient" (see paleo-) + ontologie (see ontology). Related: Paleontological.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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paleontologist in Science
The scientific study of life in the geologic past, especially through the study of animal and plant fossils.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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paleontologist in Culture
paleontology [(pay-lee-uhn-tol-uh-jee)]

The study of ancient life forms, particularly as they are seen in fossils.

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

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