From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Taxonomy \Tax*on"o*my\ (t[a^]ks*[o^]n"[-o]*m[y^]), n. [Gr.
   ta`xis an arrangement, order + no`mos a law.]
   1. That division of the natural sciences which treats of the
      classification of animals and plants, primarily by
      consideration of their natural relationships with respect
      to their structure or genetic origin; the laws or
      principles of classification; systematics.
      [1913 Webster +PJC]

   2. A systematic arrangement of objects or concepts showing
      the relations between them, especially one including a
      hierarchical arrangement of types in which categories of
      objects are classified as subtypes of more abstract
      categories, starting from one or a small number of top
      categories, and descending to more specific types through
      an arbitrary number of levels. An ontology usually
      contains a taxonomy as one of the important principles of
      [1913 Webster +PJC]
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