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[an-thruh-pol-uh-jee] /ˌæn θrəˈpɒl ə dʒi/
the science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs and beliefs of humankind.
the study of human beings' similarity to and divergence from other animals.
the science of humans and their works.
Also called philosophical anthropology. the study of the nature and essence of humankind.
Origin of anthropology
1585-95; anthropo- + -logy
Related forms
[an-thruh-puh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌæn θrə pəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA),
anthropologic, adjective
anthropologically, adverb
pseudoanthropological, adjective
semianthropologic, adjective
semianthropological, adjective
semianthropologically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for anthropology
  • Langdon's colleagues often joked that his place looked more like an anthropology museum than a home.
  • His record of the trip is rich in anthropology and science.
  • Marketing is now an applied science that encompasses sociology, psychology, and anthropology.
  • The theme of change is woven into science programs from anthropology to geophysics.
  • You can reserve the brain/brawn discussion for the anthropology class.
  • Though his style is bland, the author draws on disciplines from anthropology to history and ecology to offer intriguing insights.
  • Her mixture of science, cultural anthropology and culinary imagination are intoxicating, making this a crucial work on the topic.
  • The latest physical anthropology research indicates that the human evolutionary line never went through a knuckle-walking phase.
  • The photographs, though often beautiful, are more fascinating as anthropology than as individual works of art.
  • It is but a step from that to anthropology-the last romance of all.
British Dictionary definitions for anthropology


the study of humans, their origins, physical characteristics, institutions, religious beliefs, social relationships, etc See also cultural anthropology, ethnology, physical anthropology, social anthropology
Derived Forms
anthropological (ˌænθrəpəˈlɒdʒɪkəl) adjective
anthropologically, adverb
anthropologist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anthropology

"science of the natural history of man," 1590s, originally especially of the relation between physiology and psychology, from Modern Latin anthropologia or coined independently in English from anthropo- + -logy. In Aristotle, anthropologos is used literally, as "speaking of man."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anthropology in Medicine

anthropology an·thro·pol·o·gy (ān'thrə-pŏl'ə-jē)
The scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.

an'thro·pol'o·gist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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anthropology in Science
The scientific study of humans, especially of their origin, their behavior, and their physical, social, and cultural development.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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anthropology in Culture

anthropology definition

The scientific study of the origin, development, and varieties of human beings and their societies, particularly so-called primitive societies.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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