Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Literary study or classical scholarship.
  • n. See historical linguistics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The humanistic study of historical linguistics.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Criticism; grammatical learning.
  • n. The study of language, especially in a philosophical manner and as a science; the investigation of the laws of human speech, the relation of different tongues to one another, and historical development of languages; linguistic science.
  • n. A treatise on the science of language.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The love or the study of learning and literature; the investigation of a language and its literature, or of languages and literatures, for the light they cast upon men's character, activity, and history.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the humanistic study of language and literature

Etymologies

Middle English philologie, from Latin philologia, love of learning, from Greek philologiā, from philologos, fond of learning or of words : philo-, philo- + logos, reason, speech; see -logy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First coined 1614, from Old French philologie, from Ancient Greek φιλολογία (philologia, "love of argument or reasoning, love of learning and literature"), from φίλος (philos, "loved, beloved, dear, friend") + λόγος (logos). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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