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ontography, n.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by compounding. Etymons: onto- comb. form, -graphy comb. form.

1. The description or characterization of things as they are. Obs. rare—0.

1857   R. G. Mayne Expos. Lexicon Med. Sci. (1860)    The describing and characterizing of things: ontography.

1857—1857(Hide quotations)


 2. Geogr. A description of, or the branch of knowledge which deals with, the human response to the natural environment. Cf. physiography n.Chiefly with reference to the work of W. M. Davies: see quot. 1902.

1902   W. M. Davis in Science 15 Aug. 266/2   The facts of inorganic environment on the one hand (physiography) and of environed organisms on the other (ontography)..constitute..the subject matter of geography proper.
1941   Jrnl. Aesthetics & Art Crit. 1 102   Aside from the ontography a monistic psychology of the arts must have as a second part, a study of the Psychological Structure of the experience of creative and receptive expressions in the arts.
1983   Ann. Assoc. Amer. Geographers 73 326/1   Ontography as anthropogeography was widely publicized by Davis and his students.

1902—1983(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, June 2004).