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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the study of mushrooms and other fungi

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The noun mycology was formed within English on the pattern of the Latin ‘mycologia’. ‘Myco-‘ comes ultimately from a Greek word meaning mushroom or fungus, while -(o)logy is typically used to form nouns referring to the study of something. It was first used in the early 19th century.


The noun mycology follows the usual pattern of names of scientific disciplines, with a first part showing what the study is of and a second part indicating that this is a field of study or knowledge. Someone who studies mycology is a mycologist, and the latter word actually predates mycology by a few years. Mycology is an expanding discipline, with new discoveries about the role played in ecosystems by fungal organisms coming thick and fast. Fungi include not only mushrooms but also moulds and yeasts, and were only recognized as being separate from plants fairly recently. Mycology as a field of study is thus in some ways still in its infancy, with the vast majority of fungal species not yet even described.


Beatrix Potter was eager to learn more about botany, mycology and entomology, among others.
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I’m a self-taught amateur mycologist who enjoys both studying and eating mushrooms.
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Related words

bacteriology, biology, botany, microbiology

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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