Definition of cetology in US English:



  • The branch of zoology that deals with whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

    • ‘In his discourse on cetology, Ishmael describes himself in passing as ‘an American whaleman’.’
    • ‘Much of cetology still demands some exploitation of cetaceans, and the more respect you have for them the less easy it is to use them.’
    • ‘For the most part, these chapters on cetology are not dull, dry, tedious accounts.’
    • ‘Besides that, I absolutely enjoyed this book edited by the greatest minds of cetology of our time.’
    • ‘Ishmael ends the discussion of cetology by saying that his classification system can't easily be perfected, like all great works, it will remain unfinished.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin cetus ‘whale’ (see Cetacea) + -logy.