- 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 philology
And this is not the only truth about philology which may be learnt from Homer.
During the interval the progress of philology has been very great.
On the other hand, Philology is an organised science, and has its own laws.Introduction to the Study of History
Charles V. Langlois
It is thus in Geology; it is thus in Biology; it is thus in Philology.Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I
But I did not devote my time entirely to philology; I had other pursuits.Lavengro
- 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 philology
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.