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[than-uh-tol-uh-jee] /ˌθæn əˈtɒl ə dʒi/
the study of death and its surrounding circumstances, as in forensic medicine.
Psychiatry. the study of the effects of death and dying, especially the investigation of ways to lessen the suffering and address the needs of the terminally ill and their survivors.
Origin of thanatology
1835-45; thanato- + -logy
Related forms
[than-uh-tl-oj-i-kuh l] /ˌθæn ə tlˈɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
thanatologist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for thanatology
  • Hall founded gerontology, but he came to it by way of thanatology.
British Dictionary definitions for thanatology


the scientific study of death and the phenomena and practices relating to it
Word Origin
C19: from Greek thanatos death + -logy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for thanatology

"scientific study of death," 1842, from Greek thanatos "death" (from PIE *dhwene- "to disappear, die," perhaps from root meaning "dark, cloudy") + -logy. Thanatism (1900) is the belief that at death the soul ceases to exist. Hence also thanatos. In 1970s, some undertakers made a bid to be called thanatologists; but from 1974 that word was used in reference to specialists in the needs of the terminally ill.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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thanatology in Medicine

thanatology than·a·tol·o·gy (thān'ə-tŏl'ə-jē)
The study of death and dying, especially of their psychological and social aspects.

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