A popular way of classifying magmatic
volcanoes goes by their frequency of eruption, with those that erupt regularly called active,
those that have erupted in historical times but are now quiet called dormant,
and those that have not erupted in historical times called extinct. However,
these popular classifications—extinct in particular—are practically meaningless to scientists. More significant
ones refer to a particular volcano's formative and eruptive processes and resulting shapes; these and other details are explained
below. Volcano is thought to derive from Vulcano, a volcanic island in the Aeolian Islands of Italy whose name in turn originates from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman mythology. The study of volcanoes is called volcanology, sometimes spelled vulcanology.
The Roman name for the island Vulcano has contributed the word for volcano in most modern European languages.