philately

play
noun phi·lat·e·ly \ fə-ˈla-tə-lē \

Definition of philately

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

philatelic

play \ˌfi-lə-ˈte-lik\ adjective

philatelically

play \ˌfi-lə-ˈte-li-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

philately was our Word of the Day on 05/21/2017. Hear the podcast!

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


PHILATELY Defined for English Language Learners

philately

play
noun

Definition of philately for English Language Learners

  • : the study or collection of postage stamps


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