Geologic or Geological – Which Spelling Is Correct?

Do you like Geology? We do! When talking about it, do you say the word “Geologic” or “Geological”?

We’re curious to find out which form is correct and if any of them should be avoided. We also want to know what they mean and the proper way to use them.

Geologic or Geological – Which Spelling Is Correct?

“Geologic” and “Geological” are adjectives that relate to Geology, the field of study. Both are correct and acceptable. They are synonyms and can be used interchangeably. However, “Geological” is the form being used the most, so choose this word if you are in doubt.

geologic or geological

Take a look at the examples below:

  • Scientists called it a geologic anomaly.
  • Scientists called it a geological anomaly.

The sentences in the example are the same, except for the fact that one uses the word “Geological”, and the other “Geologic”. Both sentences convey the same message and would work perfectly fine.

“Geological” and “Geologic” are acceptable adjectives to describe something that relates, somehow, to the field of Geology. You may be used to hearing one more than the other, and it’s ok.

The words “Geological” and “Geological” are synonyms and because they indicate the same thing, they can interchange. Regardless of which form you feel more comfortable with, you can use it, and rest assured you’d be considered correct and proper.

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“Geologic” is an alternate spelling for the word “Geological”. “Geologic” is an adjective used to describe things that pertain to or relate to Geology. “Geology” is the study of the rocks and similar substances that make up the earth’s surface. You can use the word “Geologic” to describe things that relate to that.

The Cambridge Dictionary doesn’t recognize the word “Geologic”. Instead, it automatically forwards the reader to the word “Geology”.

Let’s go over some examples that will help us understand how to use the word “Geologic” in a sentence:

  1. Jack’s degree is focused on geologic studies.
  2. They performed a geologic survey on the area.
  3. What can you see in the geologic records that would be relevant to our research?
  4. Even a single fossil discovery can alter geologic findings.
  5. The geologic time scale represents time-based on the rock record of the Earth.


“Geological” is the adjective that describes things related to or that pertain to Geology, as a field of study. It can also appear in its alternate form, which is “Geologic”.

According to The Cambridge Dictionary, this is the best definition of “Geological”: “relating to geology, or the geology of a particular area or place”.

Take a look at some helpful examples below:

  1. Sarah studies geological periods, for her Ph.D.
  2. Tom is taking both geological and biological courses in college.
  3. The region’s geological layout was complex.
  4. This discovery will improve future geological research.
  5. Henry is a part of the geological scientific community.

Which Is Used the Most?

Which one of those forms is used more often, “Geologic” or “Geological”? Take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.

geologic or geological usage

“Geological” is the form of the word that pops up more often in the graph. It has always been the preferred, most used one, indicating that that’s the form people feel more comfortable with.

“Geologic” appears closer to the bottom of the graph, indicating it’s not as relevant as “Geological”.

However, it’s also interesting to notice that both words, “Geological” and “Geologic” have seen a considerable decrease in usage in recent years. Since around 1980 people have been talking much less about Geology in general. Would have an idea as to why this is the case?

Whatever it is, always remember you can use both words: “Geological” and “Geologic”. They are correct and acceptable forms to describe things that relate to Geology in general. Choose the one that you like best or the one that sounds more idiomatic in the sentence you’re constructing.

Final Thoughts

Both adjectives that relate to Geology, “Geologic” and “Geological” are both correct. They can be used to describe all things related to (or pertaining to) Geology, as a field of study. “Geologic” and “Geological” are synonyms and can interchange. However, “Geological” is used the most.