Definition of palaetiology in English:

palaetiology

(also paletiology)

noun

historical
  • W. Whewell's name for: the application of existing principles of cause and effect to the explanation of past phenomena.

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Whewell (1794–1866), college head and writer on the history and philosophy of science. From pal- + aetiology, after palaeontology.

Pronunciation

palaetiology

/pəˌliːtɪˈɒlədʒi/