philosophy

[ fi-los-uh-fee ]
/ fɪˈlɒs ə fi /

noun, plural phi·los·o·phies.

the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.
any of the three branches, namely natural philosophy, moral philosophy, and metaphysical philosophy, that are accepted as composing this study.
a particular system of thought based on such study or investigation: the philosophy of Spinoza.
the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge, especially with a view to improving or reconstituting them: the philosophy of science.
a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.
an attitude of rationality, patience, composure, and calm in the presence of troubles or annoyances.

Origin of philosophy

1250–1300; Middle English philosophie < Latin philosophia < Greek philosophía. See philo-, -sophy

Related forms

an·ti·phi·los·o·phy, adjective, noun, plural an·ti·phi·los·o·phies.non·phi·los·o·phy, noun, plural non·phi·los·o·phies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for philosophy

British Dictionary definitions for philosophy

philosophy

/ (fɪˈlɒsəfɪ) /

noun plural -phies


Word Origin for philosophy

C13: from Old French filosofie, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos lover of wisdom
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

Culture definitions for philosophy

philosophy

A study that attempts to discover the fundamental principles of the sciences, the arts, and the world that the sciences and arts deal with; the word philosophy is from the Greek for “love of wisdom.” Philosophy has many branches that explore principles of specific areas, such as knowledge (epistemology), reasoning (logic), being in general (metaphysics), beauty (aesthetics), and human conduct (ethics).

Different approaches to philosophy are also called philosophies. (See also epicureanism, existentialism, idealism, materialism, nihilism, pragmatism, stoicism, and utilitarianism.)


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.