phi·​lol·​o·​gy | \ fə-ˈlä-lə-jē How to pronounce philology (audio) also fī- \

Definition of philology

1 : the study of literature and of disciplines relevant to literature or to language as used in literature
2a : linguistics especially : historical and comparative linguistics
b : the study of human speech especially as the vehicle of literature and as a field of study that sheds light on cultural history

Other Words from philology

philological \ ˌfi-​lə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce philology (audio) \ adjective
philologically \ ˌfi-​lə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce philology (audio) \ adverb
philologist \ fə-​ˈlä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce philology (audio) also  fī-​ \ noun

Examples of philology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both brothers attended Saint Petersburg State University, where their father was a professor of philology, an academic discipline that encompasses the study of language and literature. Darren Loucaides, Wired, 8 Feb. 2022 For the advocates of liberal culture a century ago, the false god of literature departments was philology. The New Yorker, 13 Dec. 2021 Philology prevailed in literature departments because philology was scientific. The New Yorker, 13 Dec. 2021 While at Oxford, Hayes plans to study for graduate degrees in mathematical science as well as linguistics, philology and phonetics, according to the university. Ruth Serven Smith |, al, 23 Nov. 2021 In his field of philology, the study of the historical development of languages, Haile worked in eight languages, from ancient Hebrew and Arabic to ancient Ethiopian tongues such as Amharic and Ge'ez. Reid Forgrave, Star Tribune, 19 June 2021 Of course, my interest in psychoanalysis quickly grew to include many disparate fields, which have included philology, philosophy, biology, the history of culture, aesthetics, sociology, and in this case, pedagogy. Zane Pickett, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Her discipline of philology, the study of the development of texts over time, requires comparing manuscripts to each other, building a stemma, or genealogy of texts, from a parent or original manuscript. David M. Perry, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2021 Harvard is where Bill met his wife, who later got a PhD in classical philology. Joel Stein, Time, 22 Oct. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of philology

1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for philology

French philologie, from Latin philologia love of learning and literature, from Greek, from philologos fond of learning and literature, from phil- + logos word, speech — more at legend

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The first known use of philology was in 1522

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Cite this Entry

“Philology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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