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Definition of Thanatology

(noun) The study of death and dying.

Example of Thanatology

Thanatology Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: than·a·tol·o·gy

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /than-uh-tAHl-uh-jee/
  • British English – /than-uh-tOl-uh-jee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /θænəˈtɔləʤi/
  • British English – /θanəˈtɒlədʒi/

Usage Notes

  • Thanatology focuses on all aspects of death, including: aging, coping mechanisms, grief, and rituals.
  • Postmortem means “after death” and antemortem means “before death.”
  • A (noun) thanatologist studies (adjective) thanatological topics such as (noun) thanatomania (the belief that one is fated to die because of being cursed), (noun) thanatophilia (fascination of death that a (noun) thanatophile exhibits), or (noun) thanatophobia (the fear of death).

Additional Information

Related Terms

Works Consulted

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon..

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Thanatology

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “thanatology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 23, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/thanatology/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

thanatology. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/thanatology/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “thanatology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 23, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/thanatology/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“thanatology.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 23 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/thanatology/>.