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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for paleontologists
  • So are scientists who are not trying to create the future but instead recreate the past: paleontologists.
  • paleontologists talk about the origins of human history based upon a database of bones that fit in a single coffin.
  • He said paleontologists had long suspected that dinosaurs had stapes.
  • In this video, three paleontologists try to uncover the mysteries behind fossilized dinosaur remains.
  • And these legends have practical applications for paleontologists.
  • There are few things more nerve-wracking for paleontologists than fossil auctions.
  • Over the past fifteen years, paleontologists have described more than twenty species of feathered dinosaurs.
  • paleontologists have found the bones of a bird inside a feathered dinosaur.
  • Both episodes intersperse commentary from paleontologists with computer-generated restorations of the dinosaurs.
  • Fossil dealers and paleontologists could explore together.
Word Origin and History for paleontologists



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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paleontologists 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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paleontologists 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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