Serving an ultimate purpose in its design. For example, "What is the true purpose of the nose?" That is a teleological question. For another example, to say that all evolutionary changes occur for a definite purpose is a teleological explanation of evolution. "Teleological" comes from ancient Greek roots but did not enter English until the 18th century. It is a compound of the Greek "tele-, telos," meaning "end or purpose" + the ending "logos" meaning "the science or study of" = the study of the ends or purposes.

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te·le·o·log·i·cal .tel-ē-ə-'läj-i-kəl, .tēl- also te·le·o·log·ic -'läj-ik adj exhibiting or relating to design or purpose esp. in nature
te·le·o·log·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē adv

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te·leo·log·i·cal (te″le-ə-logґĭ-kəl) 1. pertaining to teleology. 2. serving an ultimate purpose in development.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Teleological — Te le*o*log ic*al, a. [Cf. F. t[ e]l[ e]ologique.] 1. (Biol.) Of or pertaining to teleology, or the doctrine of design. [1913 Webster] 2. showing evidence of design or purpose, especially in natural phenomena. [PJC] {Te le*o*log ic*al*ly}, adv.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • teleological — argument teleology …   Philosophy dictionary

  • teleological — also teleologic adjective Date: 1798 exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature • teleologically adverb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • teleological — See teleology. * * * …   Universalium

  • teleological — adjective /tɛlɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl/ Of or pertaining to teleology; showing evidence of design or purpose …   Wiktionary

  • teleological — teleology …   Dictionary of sociology

  • TELEOLOGICAL —    related to a purpose or a designated end …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • teleological — adj. of or related to teleology, of or pertaining to the study of final causes …   English contemporary dictionary

  • teleological — tel·e·o·log·i·cal …   English syllables

  • teleological — adjective of or relating to teleology • Pertains to noun: ↑teleology • Derivationally related forms: ↑teleology …   Useful english dictionary

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