Pronunciation: (tel"ē-ol'u-jē, tē"lē-), [key]
1. the doctrine that final causes exist.
2. the study of the evidences of design or purpose in nature.
3. such design or purpose.
4. the belief that purpose and design are a part of or are apparent in nature.
5. (in vitalist philosophy) the doctrine that phenomena are guided not only by mechanical forces but that they also move toward certain goals of self-realization.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.