from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The study of design or purpose in natural phenomena.
- n. The use of ultimate purpose or design as a means of explaining phenomena.
- n. Belief in or the perception of purposeful development toward an end, as in nature or history.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The study of the purpose or design of natural occurrences.
- n. An instance of such a design or purpose, usually in natural phenomena.
- n. The use of a non-natural purpose or design to explain an occurrence.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The doctrine of the final causes of things.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The doctrine of final causes; the theory of tendency to an end.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (philosophy) a doctrine explaining phenomena by their ends or purposes
Greek teleios, teleos, perfect, complete (from telos, end, result) + -logy.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek τέλος (telos, "purpose") + λόγος (logos, "word, speech, discourse") (Wiktionary)