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From Ancient Greek τέλος (télos, purpose), genitive τέλεος (téleos), and λόγος (lógos, word, speech, discourse).



teleology (countable and uncountable, plural teleologies)

  1. (philosophy) The study of the purpose or design of natural occurrences.
  2. (by extension) An instance of such a design or purpose, usually in natural phenomena.
    • 2011, Paul A. Rahe, Truths You Cannot Utter:
      In short, what every student of biology knows – that within nature there is a teleology having to do with the survival of the species which underpins the distinction between the two sexes and produces between them a natural affinity for one another – no surgeon who knows what is good for him may now say.
  3. The use of a purpose or design rather than the laws of nature to explain an occurrence.

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