English edit

Etymology edit

1865, borrowed from French philatélie, coined by French stamp collector Georges Herpin (in Le Collectionneur de Timbres-poste, Nov. 15, 1864) from Ancient Greek φιλέω (philéō, I love) + ἀτέλεια (atéleia), the closest word he could find in Ancient Greek to the concept of “postage stamp”, from ἀ- (a-, without) + τέλος (télos, tax). This word serves as a reminder of the original function of postage stamps, now often forgotten: the cost of letter-carrying formerly was paid by the recipient; stamps indicated it had been pre-paid by the sender, thus the letters were “carriage-free”.[1]

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /fɪˈlæt.ə.li/
  • (file)

Noun edit

philately (countable and uncountable, plural philatelies)

  1. Stamp collecting.
  2. The study of postage stamps, postal routes, postal history, etc.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “philately”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.