Share this entry

taxonomy Syllabification: tax·on·o·my
Pronunciation: /takˈsänəmē/

Definition of taxonomy in English:


chiefly Biology
1The branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms; systematics.
Example sentences
  • The question remains, however, whether expertise in taxonomy and biological systematics will be available for the long term.
  • The success of flow cytometry and its ever-increasing use in plant taxonomy, systematics and ecology may pose unexpected problems.
  • Chromosomes are often useful in systematics and taxonomy, but are of restricted taxonomic value in Periplocoideae.
1.1The classification of something, especially organisms: the taxonomy of these fossils
More example sentences
  • The group that has been most commonly analysed morphometrically is the planktonic foraminifers, largely because of their well-established taxonomy and their optimal fossil record.
  • In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing that is demonstrated in the exotic charm of another system of thought is the limitation of our own.
  • The three-month training began with the work on coral taxonomy in Townsville, in northwest Australia.
1.2A scheme of classification: a taxonomy of smells
More example sentences
  • Smith's imagination was not limited to studying the extant taxonomy of market institutions.
  • So whatever the debatable points of his taxonomy (and this being analytic philosophy, there are plenty of taxonomic points to debate), I think Strawson is on to something.
  • Virginia's book was liberating for me, because its alternate taxonomy helped me avoid unwittingly imposing artificial political identities on my own thinking.


Early 19th century: coined in French from Greek taxis 'arrangement' + -nomia 'distribution'.



Pronunciation: /ˌtaksəˈnämik/
Example sentences
  • Mind you, these web spinners are not insects, since their taxonomic classification is different.
  • More was at stake than mere taxonomic tidiness; ultimately, the problem was theological.
  • Clearly major taxonomic issues are involved, and Twinkle is addressing important social concerns.


Pronunciation: /ˌtaksəˈnämikəl/
Example sentences
  • The August issue included typical articles on taxonomical topics - e.g., on a new species of hermit crab.
  • On a higher taxonomical level, environmental correlations were absent.
  • Because our taxon sampling remains limited, it is, however, premature to state close taxonomical relationship of Amborella and Nymphaeales.


Pronunciation: /ˌtaksəˈnämik(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • To call the actually existing order liberal - or ‘neo-liberal’ - is as taxonomically accurate as calling the old Soviet Communist Party syndicalist.
  • A subspecies is a geographic race that is sufficiently different taxonomically to be worthy of a separate name.
  • Though they are minor elements of most Cambrian benthic assemblages, rhynchonelliform brachiopods taxonomically and numerically dominate most post-Ordovician Paleozoic benthic assemblages.


Pronunciation: /takˈsänəməst/
Example sentences
  • Accordingly, it was this assertion of progress - the domestication of fire - that, in part, allowed taxonomists to distinguish between animal and human.
  • Later taxonomists proved less welcoming, however, and the chimp was reclassified in 1816 into its own genus, Pan, where it has remained until this day.
  • It is true that most taxonomists and conservationists work on shoestring budgets.

Words that rhyme with taxonomy

agronomy, astronomy, autonomy, bonhomie, Deuteronomy, economy, gastronomy, heteronomy, metonymy, physiognomy

Definition of taxonomy in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkänfəˌdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...