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 (ĭ-thŏl′ə-jē, ē-thŏl′-)
1. The scientific study of animal behavior, especially as it occurs in a natural environment.
2. The study of human ethos and its formation.

[French éthologie, from Latin ēthologia, art of depicting character, from Greek ēthologiā : ēthos, character; see ethos + logos, speech, expression; see -logy.]

eth′o·log′i·cal (ĕth′ə-lŏj′ĭ-kəl) adj.
e·thol′o·gist n.


(Zoology) the study of the behaviour of animals in their normal environment
[C17 (in the obsolete sense: mimicry): via Latin from Greek ēthologia, from ēthos character; current sense, C19]
ethological, ˌethoˈlogic adj
ˌethoˈlogically adv
eˈthologist n


(iˈθɒl ə dʒi, ɪˈθɒl-)

the study of animal behavior with emphasis on the patterns that occur in natural environments.
[1895–1900; earlier, as the study of relations between an organism and its environment < French éthologie,; see ethos]
e•tho•log•i•cal (ˌi θəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, ˌɛθ ə-) adj.
e`tho•log′i•cal•ly, adv.
e•thol′o•gist, n.


the science proposed by John Stuart MUI for the study of the character formation in humans. — ethologic, ethological, adj.
See also: Mankind
the study of animal behavior in relation to habitat. — ethologist, n. — ethological, adj.
See also: Animals


1. The branch of zoology that deals with animals in their normal environment.
2. Study of animal behavior.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ethology - the branch of zoology that studies the behavior of animals in their natural habitats
zoological science, zoology - the branch of biology that studies animals
References in periodicals archive ?
As Jane Goodall, Frans de Waal, and many other ethologists have observed, the basic signals we use to express pain, fear, anger, love, joy, surprise, impatience, boredom, sexual excitement, and many other mental and emotional states are not unique to our species.
I always say that science is catching up to what many people have already known," says Bekoff, who is also the cofounder of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (primatologist Jane Goodall is the other founder).
Ritual is not a distinct category of action but a modification on existing categories; in the wake of Huxley (1914) biologists, anthropologists and ethologists have been stressing the concept of ritualization as one key to our understanding of ritual behaviour; (15) in Catherine Bell's (1992: 90) formulation, '[t]he significance of ritual behaviour lies not in being an entirely separate way of acting but in how such activities constitute themselves as different and in contrast to other activities.
The study is also an example of multidisciplinary cooperation -- it was made possible because neuroscientists, ethologists, computer scientists, and developmental psychologists collaborated closely in designing the experimental set-up and applying new data analysis methods.
of Bristol, UK) help students, ethologists, veterinarians, and cat owners understand the behavior of the domestic cat.
Both Maeterlinck and Marais started out as qualified lawyers rather than as ethologists, so the latter argued that, a year after he had published the first episodes of his work in Die Huisgenoot, Maeterlinck had lifted them to produce his crib, The Life of the White Ant.
94) See id at 184 ("Biologists and ethologists likewise have established that mammals have their own needs and desires, including those of a social and psychological nature, as well as physical.
It is time for us to be taken up by a rhizome that has the Stoics, the Buddhists, the Taoists, and the ethologists in it.
Yet scientists--anthropologists, geneticists, ethologists, and developmental and evolutionary biologists--rely on observations and empirical data.
Kazez considers the work of ethologists, psychologists and other animal specialists, like primatologist Frans de Waal.
Ethologists placed critical importance on the genetic basis of behaviors, which they saw as innate, ritualistic responses to environmental stimuli.
It is a term used by ethologists (people who study animal behavior in the natural setting) to describe an internal physiological/neurological condition that alters an animal's readiness to respond and variation in the intensity/duration of that response.