One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The description and classification of the rocks and rock formations (and, in later use, other inorganic substances) of which the earth consists; the branch of natural science (or later of geology) dealing with this. Now chiefly historical.
Late 18th century. From geo- + -gnosy, after German Geognosie. Compare French géognosie and earlier German Lithogeognosie and French lithogéognosie.
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