Definition of Teleological

Teleological: 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.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Search MedTerms:


Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!