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From Wissen (knowledge) +‎ -schaft (making). Akin to Dutch wetenschap, West Frisian wittenskip, Danish videnskab, Norwegian vitenskap and Swedish vetenskap.


  • IPA(key): /ˈvɪsənʃaft/, [ˈvɪsn̩ʃaft]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: Wis‧sen‧schaft


Wissenschaft f (genitive Wissenschaft, plural Wissenschaften)

  1. science, scholarship (collective discipline of learning acquired through a scientific or scholarly method; totality of knowledge derived from scientific inquiry)
  2. An academic discipline; in general, the sciences, humanities, and sometimes the arts taken as a whole.

Usage notesEdit

Wissenschaft has a much broader meaning than the English word science. While science refers to systematically acquired, objective knowledge obtained through a particular methodology (such as the scientific method), and includes only natural sciences, social sciences, and formal sciences; Wissenschaft also includes the humanities, art, philosophy, and religion, and refers to learning and knowledge in general, whether obtained through scientific or non-scientific means.

  • For natural science (including only "hard sciences" such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics), see Naturwissenschaft.
  • For social science (including the "soft sciences" such as anthropology, archaeology, economics, linguistics, psychology, and political science), see Sozialwissenschaft.


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