Word of the Day

Sunday, March 23, 2014

philately

\fi-LAT-l-ee\ , noun;
1.
the collecting of stamps and other postal matter as a hobby or an investment.
2.
the study of postage stamps, revenue stamps, stamped envelopes, postmarks, postal cards, covers, and similar material relating to postal or fiscal history.
Quotes:
...she had meant to examine these more carefully herself, but the very idea of philately bores her to distraction and she has hardly given them a glance.
-- Margaret Drabble, The Gates of Ivory, 1991
But he could hardly talk to Julia about either philately or his German penfriend. 'I like music.' This was no good either—who didn't?
-- Rosy Thornton, Hearts and Minds, 2007
Origin:
Philately entered English in the 1860s and comes from the Greek roots phil- meaning "love," and atéleia meaning "freedom from charges." This second element refers to the recipient's freedom from delivery charges thanks to the stamp affixed to the letter.
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