Definition of palynology in English:



mass noun
  • The study of pollen grains and other spores, especially as found in archaeological or geological deposits. Pollen extracted from such deposits may be used for radiocarbon dating and for studying past climates and environments by identifying plants then growing.

    • ‘However palynology and vertebrate fossils have yielded reliable ages for a few basins.’
    • ‘Description and systematic treatment of the ammonites was done by Hall; the material was collected by MacRae and Hills, who studied the palynology.’
    • ‘Metagentiana was separated from Gentiana on the basis of observations related to its gross morphology, floral anatomy, chromosomes, palynology, embryology and molecular data.’
    • ‘They can join or even organize teams of researchers including specialists in, say, geoarcheology, palynology, and dendrochronology.’
    • ‘Hultberg, using the thinner Højerup succession, has described the palynology of the Fish Clay.’
    • ‘We interpret these results in light of Gnetalean palynology and the geological record of western Namibia.’
    • ‘The integration of palynology with stratigraphical analysis represents a significant advance, by facilitating a detailed chronostratigraphic chart of the Iberian Pyrite Belt.’
    • ‘Palaeobotany includes not only macrofossil plants but also microscopic plant material that may be included in palynology, the study of fossil spores and pollen and other organic-walled microfossils.’
    • ‘Barron and Elorza studied the palynology of the amber deposits and proposed a Middle Aptian-Upper Albian age for the amber.’
    • ‘But if, say, the chapter on palynology doesn't quite equip historians to go out and study fossil pollen themselves, it will at least enable them to talk intelligently with specialists who can.’


1940s: from Greek palunein ‘sprinkle’ + -logy.