- the study of literary texts and of written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning.
- (especially in older use) linguistics, especially historical and comparative linguistics.
- Obsolete. the love of learning and literature.
Origin of philology
Examples from the Web for philologist
Writing to Holthoff and old Bœckh the philologist for introductions to your father.Dreamers of the Ghetto
Here Wolf, a philologist with historical instinct, was a pioneer.Evolution in Modern Thought
And why should not a philologist be able to answer questions acutely?Lavengro
Even if illegitimacy were the only reason, that would not concern the philologist.The Romance of Names
Sometimes a philologist had a pet theory which the facts were made to fit.The Romance of Words (4th ed.)
- comparative and historical linguistics
- the scientific analysis of written records and literary texts
- (no longer in scholarly use) the study of literature in general
Word Origin and History for philologist
late 14c., "love of learning," from Latin philologia "love of learning, love of letters, love of study, literary culture," from Greek philologia "love of discussion, learning, and literature; studiousness," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + logos "word, speech" (see logos).
Meaning "science of language" is first attested 1716 (philologue "linguist" is from 1590s; philologer "linguistic scholar" is from 1650s); this confusing secondary sense has not been popular in the U.S., where linguistics is preferred. Related: Philological.