paleontology

[pey-lee-uhn-tol-uh-jee or, esp. British, pal-ee-]
noun, plural paleontologies for 2.
1.
the science of the forms of life existing in former geologic periods, as represented by their fossils.
2.
a treatise on paleontology.

Origin:
1830–40; < French paléontologie. See pale(o)-, ontology

paleontologic [pey-lee-on-tl-oj-ik or, esp. British, pal-ee-] , paleontological, adjective
paleontologically, adverb
paleontologist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

paleontology
1838 (Lyell), probably from Fr. paléontologie, from Gk. palaios "old, ancient" (see paleo-) + on (gen. ontos) "being" + -ology "study of." Paleontologist formed in Eng. 1871.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
paleontology   (pā'lē-ŏn-tŏl'ə-jē)  Pronunciation Key 
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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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.
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Example sentences
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.
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