-nomy Also -nomic, -nomical, and -nomous.
A specified area of knowledge or the laws governing it.
[Greek -nomia, related to nomos, law.]
Examples include astronomy, the branch of science which deals with celestial objects and the physical universe; gastronomy (Greek gastēr, gastr-, stomach), the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food; agronomy (Greek agros, field), the science of soil management and crop production; taxonomy (Greek taxis, arrangement), the classification of organisms; taphonomy (Greek taphos, grave), the branch of palaeontology that deals with the processes of fossilization.
Some terms derive from the related Greek nemein, to manage or to give what is due: economy from Greek oikos, house; autonomy, the right of self-government, from Greek autos, self. Physiognomy, a person's facial features or expression, especially when regarded as indicative of character or ethnic origin, derives from gnōmōn, a judge, interpreter.
Related adjectives are formed in -nomic (gastronomic, taxonomic), -ical (astronomical), less often in -nomous (heteronomous, subject to a law or standard external to itself, from Greek heteros, other).
See also -logy.