I am having a naive uneasiness regarding these 3 words.

The text ( TOEFL ( Test Of English For Foreign Language )) by native speakers says,

Meteorology is the scientific study of weather condition.

According to the Merriam Unabridged Online, the brief etymology of the word Meteorology is below.

French or Greek; French météorologie, from Middle French, from Greek meteōrologia, from meteōro- astronomical phenomenon, thing in the heaven above (from meteōron) + -logia -logy — more at meteor

So I checked with the etymology of the word meteor, and found accordingly.

Middle English, from Middle French meteore, from Medieval Latin meteorum, from Greek meteōron astronomical phenomenon, thing in the heaven above, from neuter of meteōros high in air, raised off the ground, from meta- + -eōros (akin to Greek aeirein to lift, raise, aiora suspension)

So what is common for both of the words, Meteorology, meteor, etymologically speaking, is "thing in the heaven above".

And the definition of Climatology.

the science that deals with climates and investigates their phenomena and causes

I have to go to the word climate for its etymology.

From the climate,

Middle English climat, from Middle French climat, from Late Latin climat-, clima, from Greek klimat-, klima inclination, the supposed slope of the earth toward the pole, region, clime, from klinein to slope, incline — more at lean

Now, my question is should I use the word Meteorology as historically it is old to denote the science of weather condition, or the new word which etymologically speaking has nothing to do with either meteorology or meteor, to denote the science of the weather condition? Which is better?

Thank you in advance.

  • 5
    I don't see what etymology has to do with this. Weather is not the same thing as climate, therefore meteorology and climatology are two separate branches of science. Which one you should choose depends on what exactly you're talking about. – michael.hor257k Dec 30 '18 at 21:21
  • hm...From the Merriam, climate the average course or condition of the weather at a particular place over a period of many years as exhibited in absolute extremes, means, and frequencies of given departures from these means, of temperature, wind velocity, precipitation, and other weather elements. So the scope of the word climatology is more limited than meteorology? – Kentaro Tomono Dec 30 '18 at 21:30
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    Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place. Climate is the statistics of weather over long periods of time. So the scope of climatology is different from that of meteorology. More at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatology#Differences_with_meteorology – michael.hor257k Dec 30 '18 at 21:42
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    Never turn to etymology to settle questions of meaning or usage. That’s a fallacy. In fact, it’s specifically called the Etymological Fallacy. Use weather to mean what the dictionary says it means, and where other people use it, and use climate to mean what the dictionary means, and where other people use it. Ignore etymology except to satisfy your own curiosity of the history of the word. It should not and can not be relied on for usage or definition purposes. If you’re confused about weather vs climate, first study their defs in an English dict, then look them up in a transl. dict. – Dan Bron Dec 30 '18 at 21:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is premised on the Etymological Fallacy, and confuses the definitions of weather and climate. – Dan Bron Dec 30 '18 at 21:56

Let me start with Etymology => "history" of the word. Which does not mean current meaning, rather the history of the word.

Meteorology = is about "weather conditions", while Climatology is about "climate". Weather is a bit of climate, which is a general, statistical entity. Simply put (not accurate though) - weather: "it is raining now", while climate: "it is generally dry in this time of the season".

As for the etymology of meteor and meteorology: meteor = 'smth high in the sky', meteorology - 'study of smth high in the sky'. 'logy' is science. Weather is all from sky (according to Greeks and others who believed in gods), thus the science is studying that. Though it does not study meteors. They are studied by astronomers (astronomy - law of the stars), as they meteors are from space.

  • Thank you for your answer. Kindly let me have time a bit. Sorry. – Kentaro Tomono Dec 30 '18 at 22:37
  • I appreciate your answer. My mistake was my composition was not good. I am sorry for that. – Kentaro Tomono Dec 30 '18 at 23:35

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