the science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs and beliefs of humankind.
the study of human beings' similarity to and divergence from other animals.
the science of humans and their works.
Also called philosophical anthropology. the study of the nature and essence of humankind.

Origin of anthropology

First recorded in 1585–95; anthropo- + -logy
Related formsan·thro·po·log·i·cal [an-thruh-puh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌæn θrə pəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, an·thro·po·log·ic, adjectivean·thro·po·log·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·an·thro·po·log·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·an·thro·po·log·ic, adjectivesem·i·an·thro·po·log·i·cal, adjectivesem·i·an·thro·po·log·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anthropology

Contemporary Examples of anthropology

Historical Examples of anthropology

  • Since that time the whole position of German anthropology has changed.

  • A collection of works of any author is termed "an anthropology."

    A Book for All Readers

    Ainsworth Rand Spofford

  • All that astronomy and anthropology that nobody ever even dreamed of before?

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • Well, he might, but it would not tell him what our anthropology tells us.

    Anything You Can Do ...

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • "Your anthropology ought to be better than that, Barry," he said.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for anthropology



the study of humans, their origins, physical characteristics, institutions, religious beliefs, social relationships, etcSee also cultural anthropology, ethnology, physical anthropology, social anthropology
Derived Formsanthropological (ˌænθrəpəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectiveanthropologically, adverbanthropologist, 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

Word Origin and History for anthropology

"science of the natural history of man," 1590s, originally especially of the relation between physiology and psychology, from Modern Latin anthropologia or coined independently in English from anthropo- + -logy. In Aristotle, anthropologos is used literally, as "speaking of man."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for anthropology




The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.
Related formsan′thro•polo•gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for anthropology



The scientific study of humans, especially of their origin, their behavior, and their physical, social, and cultural development.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for anthropology


The scientific study of the origin, development, and varieties of human beings and their societies, particularly so-called primitive societies.

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