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
He has inspired research and raised the status of paleontology.
It is for the best for the students that they didn't hire me and ask me to
  teach paleontology.
She edits and writes articles for the magazine about paleontology and
  anthropology, among other topics.
Paleontology is a science dealing with the life of past geological periods as
  known from fossil remains.
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