linguistics

[ling-gwis-tiks]
noun (used with a singular verb)
the science of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and historical linguistics.

Origin:
1850–55; see linguistic, -ics

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World English Dictionary
linguistics (lɪŋˈɡwɪstɪks)
 
n
(functioning as singular) historical linguistics See also descriptive linguistics the scientific study of language

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

linguistics
"the science of languages," 1847; see linguist.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Linguistics experts believe that endangered languages around the world are
  slipping out of our heritage at the rate of one a day.
Out with every theory of human behavior, from linguistics to sociology.
It's got the tie-in to hobo language, which is really cool from a linguistics
  point of view.
There, five people with doctorates in linguistics dream up excuses for folks to
  repeat before suddenly dropping a date gone sour.
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