Definition of anthropology
1 : the science of human beings; especially : the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture
2 : theology dealing with the origin, nature, and destiny of human beings
anthropologicalplay \-pə-ˈlä-ji-kəl\ adjective
anthropologicallyplay \-ji-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
anthropologistplay \ˌan(t)-thrə-ˈpä-lə-jist\ noun
The Origin of anthropology
The word anthropology dates back to the late 16th century, but it was not until the 19th century that it was applied to the academic discipline that now bears its name. In the United States, this field of study is typically divided into four distinct branches: physical (or biological) anthropology, archaeology, cultural (or social) anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.
Anthropology is from the New Latin word anthropologia (“the study of humanity”) and shares its ultimate root in Greek, anthrōpos (“human being”), with a number of other words in English, such as anthropomorphize, philanthropy, and misanthrope.
Origin and Etymology of anthropology
New Latin anthropologia, from anthrop- + -logia -logy
First Known Use: 1593
ANTHROPOLOGY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of anthropology for English Language Learners
: the study of human races, origins, societies, and cultures
ANTHROPOLOGY Defined for Kids
Definition of anthropology for Students
: a science that studies people and especially their history, development, distribution and culture
Medical Definition of anthropology
: the science of humans; especially : the study of humans in relation to distribution, origin, classification, and relationship of races, physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture
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