Word of the Day

Sunday, March 23, 2014


\fi-LAT-l-ee\ , noun;
the collecting of stamps and other postal matter as a hobby or an investment.
the study of postage stamps, revenue stamps, stamped envelopes, postmarks, postal cards, covers, and similar material relating to postal or fiscal history.
...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
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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