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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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British Dictionary definitions for ethnology


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 ethnology

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ethnology 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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