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philately

play
noun phi·lat·e·ly \fə-ˈla-tə-lē\

Simple Definition of philately

  • : the study or collection of postage stamps

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of philately

  1. :  the collection and study of postage and imprinted stamps :  stamp collecting

philatelic

play \ˌfi-lə-ˈte-lik\ adjective

philatelically

play \-li-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Did You Know?

Who wouldn't love something tax free? George Herpin did. He was a French stamp fancier back in the 1860s, when stamps were a fairly new invention. Before stamps, the recipient of a letter - not the sender - had to pay the postage. Stamps forced the sender to foot the bill, and created a lot of stamp lovers among folks on the receiving end of the mail - and a mania for stamp collecting. "Timbromania" was toyed with as a term to affix to this new hobby - from the French word for stamp, "timbre." But when Herpin suggested "philatélie" (anglicized to "philately"), combining the Greek root phil-, meaning "loving," with Greek ateleia, meaning "tax-exemption," stamp lovers everywhere took a fancy to it and the name stuck.

Origin and Etymology of philately

French philatélie, from phil- + Greek ateleia tax exemption, from atelēs free from tax, from a- + telos tax; perhaps akin to Greek tlēnai to bear; from the fact that a stamped letter frees the recipient from paying the mailing charges — more at tolerate


First Known Use: circa 1865


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