from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The collection and study of postage stamps, postmarks, and related materials; stamp collecting.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Stamp collecting.
- n. The study of postage stamps, postal routes, postal history, etc.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The collection of postage stamps of various issues.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The fancy for collecting and classifying postage-stamps and revenue-stamps as objects of curiosity; also, the occupation of making such collections.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the collection and study of postage stamps
French philatélie : Greek phil-, philo-, philo- + Greek ateleia, exemption from payment (because a postage stamp indicates prepayment of postage) (a-, without; see a-1 + telos, tax, charge; see telə- in Indo-European roots).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1865, from French philatélie, coined by French stamp collector Georges Herpin (in Le Collectionneur de Timbres-poste, Nov. 15, 1864) from Ancient Greek φιλο- (philo-, "love of") + ἀτέλεια (atelīa), the closest word he could find in Ancient Greek to the concept of "postage stamp" (from ἀ- (a-, "without") + τέλος (telos, "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". (Wiktionary)