Search Result for "ontology": 
Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (2)

1. (computer science) a rigorous and exhaustive organization of some knowledge domain that is usually hierarchical and contains all the relevant entities and their relations;

2. the metaphysical study of the nature of being and existence;

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4 definitions retrieved:

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Ontology \On*tol"o*gy\, n. [Gr. ? the things which exist (pl.neut. of ?, ?, being, p. pr. of ? to be) + -logy: cf. F. ontologie.] 1. That department of the science of metaphysics which investigates and explains the nature and essential properties and relations of all beings, as such, or the principles and causes of being. [1913 Webster] 2. (Computers) A systematic arrangement of all of the important categories of objects or concepts which exist in some field of discourse, showing the relations between them. When complete, an ontology is a categorization of all of the concepts in some field of knowledge, including the objects and all of the properties, relations, and functions needed to define the objects and specify their actions. A simplified ontology may contain only a hierarchical classification (a taxonomy) showing the type subsumption relations between concepts in the field of discourse. An ontology may be visualized as an abstract graph with nodes and labeled arcs representing the objects and relations. Note: The concepts included in an ontology and the hierarchical ordering will be to a certain extent arbitrary, depending upon the purpose for which the ontology is created. This arises from the fact that objects are of varying importance for different purposes, and different properties of objects may be chosen as the criteria by which objects are classified. In addition, different degrees of aggregation of concepts may be used, and distinctions of importance for one purpose may be of no concern for a different purpose. [PJC]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

ontology n 1: (computer science) a rigorous and exhaustive organization of some knowledge domain that is usually hierarchical and contains all the relevant entities and their relations 2: the metaphysical study of the nature of being and existence
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

28 Moby Thesaurus words for "ontology": aesthetics, axiology, casuistry, cosmology, epistemology, ethics, existentialism, first philosophy, gnosiology, logic, mental philosophy, metaphysics, moral philosophy, phenomenology, philosophastry, philosophic doctrine, philosophic system, philosophic theory, philosophical inquiry, philosophical speculation, philosophy, school of philosophy, school of thought, science of being, sophistry, theory of beauty, theory of knowledge, value theory
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

ontology 1. A systematic account of Existence. 2. (From philosophy) An explicit formal specification of how to represent the objects, concepts and other entities that are assumed to exist in some area of interest and the relationships that hold among them. For AI systems, what "exists" is that which can be represented. When the knowledge about a domain is represented in a declarative language, the set of objects that can be represented is called the universe of discourse. We can describe the ontology of a program by defining a set of representational terms. Definitions associate the names of entities in the universe of discourse (e.g. classes, relations, functions or other objects) with human-readable text describing what the names mean, and formal axioms that constrain the interpretation and well-formed use of these terms. Formally, an ontology is the statement of a logical theory. A set of agents that share the same ontology will be able to communicate about a domain of discourse without necessarily operating on a globally shared theory. We say that an agent commits to an ontology if its observable actions are consistent with the definitions in the ontology. The idea of ontological commitment is based on the Knowledge-Level perspective. 3. The hierarchical structuring of knowledge about things by subcategorising them according to their essential (or at least relevant and/or cognitive) qualities. See subject index. This is an extension of the previous senses of "ontology" (above) which has become common in discussions about the difficulty of maintaining subject indices. (1997-04-09)