phi·​lat·​e·​list | \ fə-ˈla-tə-list How to pronounce philatelist (audio) \

Definition of philatelist

: a specialist in philately : one who collects or studies stamps

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The first postage stamps were made available on May 1, 1840, in England, and it didn't take long for the hobby of stamp collecting to arise. Within a year, a young London lady was letting it be known in a newspaper advertisement that she was "desirous of covering her dressing room with cancelled postage stamps". Philately has been alive and well ever since, though modern philatelists—including rock stars, English kings, and American presidents—are more likely to put the stamps they collect in special albums.

Examples of philatelist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In London, philatelist Denis Vandervelde enlightens the authors to the centuries-old practice of disinfecting mail in times of widespread disease. Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2021 Marcia was a beloved grandmother, aunt, lifelong friend, good neighbor, social worker, supporter of Israel, genealogist, philatelist, civic and global activist., 16 Nov. 2019 Now, just nine remain, extremely valuable to philatelists. Ilaria Maria Sala, Quartz, 2 Sep. 2019 As Piazza points out, stamp collectors don’t actually consider the Inverted Jennys to be particularly rare–100 stamps is a sizeable amount within the world of philatelists. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, 15 May 2018 Among the many philatelists, Robey was the lucky one. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, 15 May 2018 Hundreds of philatelists - those who collect or study stamps - will be coming to Birmingham this weekend for AmeriStamp Expo 2018, an event that will include displays of rare postage. Kent Faulk,, 20 Feb. 2018 Sphero has already announced a robot to represent the new BB-9E character and, sometime this month, philatelists can also look forward to the British Royal Mail’s release of special Star Wars stamps. David Meyer, Fortune, 9 Oct. 2017 Philatelists may be thrilled to see one of the only full sheets of the first-ever postage stamp, the Penny Black. Jill Lawless, Detroit Free Press, 29 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'philatelist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of philatelist

circa 1865, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for philatelist

Time Traveler

The first known use of philatelist was circa 1865

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Dictionary Entries Near philatelist

philatelic mail



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Last Updated

11 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Philatelist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of philatelist

: a person who studies or collects postage stamps


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