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philately

[fi-lat-l-ee]
noun
  1. the collecting of stamps and other postal matter as a hobby or an investment.
  2. the study of postage stamps, revenue stamps, stamped envelopes, postmarks, postal cards, covers, and similar material relating to postal or fiscal history.
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Origin of philately

1860–65; < French philatélie < Greek phil- phil- + atéleia freedom from charges (taken to mean recipient's freedom from delivery charges by virtue of the stamp which sender affixed to the letter), literally, want of taxation, equivalent to a- a-6 + tél(os) tax + -eia -y3
Related formsphil·a·tel·ic [fil-uh-tel-ik] /ˌfɪl əˈtɛl ɪk/, phil·a·tel·i·cal, adjectivephil·a·tel·i·cal·ly, adverbphi·lat·e·list [fi-lat-l-ist] /fɪˈlæt l ɪst/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for philatelist

Historical Examples of philatelist

  • It may have been an error but it troubled no one but the philatelist.

    Canada: Its Postage Stamps and Postal Stationery

    Clifton Armstrong Howes

  • Some people irreverently style it "the Philatelist's Bible."

  • This Work is intended to fill a void which has hitherto existed in the Philatelist's Library.

  • It was satirized and laughed at by all, and a contemporary criticism, which has been reproduced in The Philatelist, vol.

  • Was it published when you went to Ghana that you were a philatelist?

    Warren Commission (9 of 26): Hearings Vol. IX (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy


British Dictionary definitions for philatelist

philately

noun
  1. the collection and study of postage stamps and all related material concerned with postal history
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Derived Formsphilatelic (ˌfɪləˈtɛlɪk), adjectivephilatelically, adverbphilatelist, noun

Word Origin for philately

C19: from French philatélie, from philo- + Greek ateleia exemption from charges (here referring to stamps), from a- 1 + telos tax, payment
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 philatelist

philately

n.

"stamp-collecting," 1865, from French philatélie, coined by French stamp collector Georges Herpin (in "Le Collectionneur de Timbres-poste," Nov. 15, 1864), from Greek phil- "loving" (see philo-) + ateleia "exemption from tax," the closest word Herpin could find in ancient Greek to the concept of "postage stamp" (from a- "without" + telos "tax;" see toll (n.)). A reminder of the original function of postage stamps, now often forgotten: the cost of letter-carrying formerly was paid by the recipient; stamps indicated it had been pre-paid by the sender, thus the letters were "carriage-free."

It is a pity that for one of the most popular scientific pursuits one of the least popularly intelligible names should have been found. [Fowler]

Related: Philatelic; philatelism; philatelist.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper