phi·​lat·​e·​list fə-ˈla-tə-list How to pronounce philatelist (audio)
: 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 Even philatelists love a good dungeon crawl now and again. Chris Morris, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2023 Commemorative stamps extend far beyond the world of the philatelist and are best understood as simply another form of merchandise for fans, sitting alongside T-shirts, mugs and keychains – all items to be hoarded by enthusiasts but never used because to use them is to deplete their value. Eamonn Forde, Forbes, 6 May 2021 The 2022 judges were: Sean Murtha, artist; Richard Houk, philatelist; Marshall Johnson, conservation partner; Paul Schmidt, conservation partner; and Christopher Nicolai, waterfowl biologist and conservation partner. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 1 Oct. 2022 To a philatelist, though, the overall value is nothing remarkable. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 15 Sep. 2022 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'philatelist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of philatelist was circa 1865

Dictionary Entries Near philatelist

Cite this Entry

“Philatelist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


phi·​lat·​e·​list fə-ˈlat-ᵊl-əst How to pronounce philatelist (audio)
: someone who collects or studies postage stamps
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