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[eth-nol-uh-jee] /ɛθˈnɒl ə dʒi/
a branch of anthropology that analyzes cultures, especially in regard to their historical development and the similarities and dissimilarities between them.
(formerly) a branch of cultural anthropology dealing with the origin, distribution, and distinguishing characteristics of human societies.
Origin of ethnology
First recorded in 1835-45; ethno- + -logy
Related forms
[eth-nuh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌɛθ nəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
ethnologic, adjective
ethnologically, adverb
ethnologist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ethnologist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am not a proper archæologist nor an anthropologist nor an ethnologist.

  • The ethnologist sees in it the incompatibility of Celt and Saxon.

    William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose
  • She was a Frenchwoman: an ethnologist could have told that at a glance.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • What a study for an ethnologist is that band of odd-looking men!

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • Following is a sketch of what is known about it, so far as it is of importance to the ethnologist.

    The Central Eskimo Franz Boas
  • This is all that the ethnologist recognizes; and from this he argues as he best can.

    Man and His Migrations

    R. G. (Robert Gordon) Latham
  • All this is difficult, but, except to the minute ethnologist, unimportant.

    The Ethnology of Europe Robert Gordon Latham
  • The ethnologist is, to a certain degree, in the same position; but only to a certain degree.

    The Ethnology of Europe Robert Gordon Latham
  • Dixie after the war is a mine for the romancer, historian, ethnologist.

    Dixie After the War

    Myrta Lockett Avary
British Dictionary definitions for ethnologist


the branch of anthropology that deals with races and peoples, their relations to one another, their origins, and their distinctive characteristics
Derived Forms
ethnologic (ˌɛθnəˈlɒdʒɪk), ethnological, adjective
ethnologically, adverb
ethnologist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ethnologist



1842, from ethno- + -logy. Related: Ethnologist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ethnologist in Culture
ethnology [(eth-nol-uh-jee)]

The study of contemporary cultures, in order to develop a theoretical framework for analyzing human society. Cultural anthropologists generally study societies by living among the people, observing, interviewing, and participating in their activities. More than simply describing the customs of these societies, anthropologists attempt to uncover underlying patterns and structures of cultural characteristics, such as language, mythology, gender roles, symbols, and rituals.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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