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 formseth·no·log·i·cal [eth-nuh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌɛθ nəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, eth·no·log·ic, adjectiveeth·no·log·i·cal·ly, adverbeth·nol·o·gist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ethnologist

Contemporary Examples of ethnologist

Historical Examples of ethnologist

  • I am not a proper archæologist nor an anthropologist nor an ethnologist.

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

  • She was a Frenchwoman: an ethnologist could have told that at a glance.

  • 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.

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 Formsethnologic (ˌɛθnəˈlɒdʒɪk) or ethnological, adjectiveethnologically, adverbethnologist, 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 ethnologist



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ethnologist in Culture



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 (see also symbol), and rituals.

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.