pse·​phol·​o·​gy | \ sē-ˈfä-lə-jē How to pronounce psephology (audio) \

Definition of psephology

: the scientific study of elections

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Other Words from psephology

psephological \ ˌsē-​fə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce psephological (audio) \ adjective
psephologist \ sē-​ˈfä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce psephologist (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Psephology is from the Greek word psēphos, meaning "pebble." (One relative ofpsephology is psephomancy, meaning "divination by pebbles.") Psephology merited election as the name for the work of analysts of elections, or psephologists, because pebbles were used by the ancient Greeks in voting. Similarly, the word ballot was an excellent choice for a means of voting since it is derived from balla, the Italian word for "ball," and Italians placed balls in a container to cast votes.

Examples of psephology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, people who have been in psephology for 50 years have never seen a party come from the mid-20s to the high 30s in a space of three weeks. Sarah Jaffe, New Republic, "“It Will Feel Like Bernie Winning the Election”," 5 June 2017

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

First Known Use of psephology

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for psephology

Greek psēphos pebble, ballot, vote; from the use of pebbles by the ancient Greeks in voting

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The first known use of psephology was in 1952

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Cite this Entry

“Psephology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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