Definition of horology in US English:



  • 1The study and measurement of time.

    • ‘His network of contacts and friends in England reads like a who's who of experts on early tools, horology, and technology.’
    • ‘David S. Landes's Revolution in Time treats ‘clocks and the making of the modern world’ in earlier historical periods, with a good emphasis on economic history as well as horology and philosophy.’
    • ‘Sadly, on the whole, The Horizontal Instrument is far more interesting as a bluffer's guide to horology - with a few regrettable dramatic interludes.’
    • ‘We repeat this same tune many times, and about the twelfth or thirteenth time, we know it's time to stop, since we have gained a century in those few minutes of horology.’
    • ‘Plinlimmon would seem to be offering a kind of antinomian horology at worst, at best an unctuous pragmatism of local mores.’
    • ‘George III was interested in horology, and Louis XVI enjoyed locksmithing.’
    • ‘I've got my eye on horology and small mechanisms.’
    • ‘And while his father encouraged him to pursue higher studies in horology after a basic degree in engineering, he found a different calling for himself.’
    • ‘We have to create space for them, so I got rid of a number of subjects, such as horology.’
    • ‘I've been umming and ahhing about what to take but I think I've settled on horology.’
    • ‘His interest in the sciences, particularly natural history, agriculture and horology, was perfectly attuned to the spirit of entrepreneurial expansion in manufacturing that surged through the realm during his reign.’
    1. 1.1 The art of making clocks and watches.
      • ‘Underneath the ‘ordinary ’dial is another which has a rather diabolical look, but which is simply a piece of horology that shows those star signs that tell your horoscope.’
      • ‘These two shows and their accompanying catalogues have spawned a new level of study based on a combination of comparative and documentary research never before seen in horology.’
      • ‘The following year Jonathan Betts, the curator of horology at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, was contracted to survey and produce a catalogue of the collection.’
      • ‘Since then, the watch-makers of Geneva have achieved an unparalleled reputation in the art of horology.’
      • ‘But when he lost his job through illness he knew it was time for a change - and he enrolled on a clockmaking - horology - course at City College, Manchester.’


Early 19th century: from Greek hōra ‘time’ + -logy.