tel·e·ol·o·gy (tĕl′ē-ŏlə-jē, tē′lē-)
n. pl. tel·e·ol·o·gies
1. The philosophical interpretation of natural phenomena as exhibiting purpose or design.
2. The use of ultimate purpose or design as a means of explaining phenomena.
3. Belief in or the perception of purposeful development toward an end, as in history.
[Greek teleios, teleos, perfect, complete (from telos, end, result; see kwel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + -LOGY.]
tel′e·o·logi·cal (-ə-lŏjĭ-kəl), tel′e·o·logic (-ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.