Definitions
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
 noun The mathematics of the collection, organization, and interpretation of numerical data, especially the analysis of population characteristics by inference from sampling.
 noun Numerical data.
from The Century Dictionary.
 noun A systematic collection of numbers relating to the enumeration of great classes, or to ratios of quantities connected with such classes, and ascertained by direct enumeration.
 noun The study of any subject, especially sociology, by means of extensive enumerations; the science of human society, so far as deduced from enumerations.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
 noun The science which has to do with the collection, classification, and analysis of facts of a numerical nature regarding any topic.
 noun Classified facts of a numerical nature regarding any topic.
 noun Numerical facts respecting the condition of the people in a state, their health, their longevity, domestic economy, arts, property, and political strength, their resources, the state of the country, etc., or respecting any particular class or interest; especially, those facts which can be stated in numbers, or in tables of numbers, or in any tabular and classified arrangement.
 noun (Sport) Numerical facts regarding the performance of athletes or athletic teams, such as winning percentages, numbers of games won or lost in a season, batting averages (for baseball players), total yards gained (for football players). The creation and classification of such numbers is limited only by the imagination of those wishing to describe athletic performance numerically.
 noun The branch of mathematics which studies methods for the calculation of probabilities.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike License.
 noun A
mathematical science concerned withdata collection, presentation, analysis, and interpretation.  noun A systematic collection of data on
measurements orobservations , often related todemographic information such aspopulation counts, incomes, population counts at different ages, etc.  noun Plural form of
statistic .
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
 noun a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data and the use of probability theory to estimate population parameters
Etymologies
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike License
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Examples

One of the first things you learn in statistics is never extrapolate beyond the data.
Archive 20070601 2007

Lumbering, which occupies a department of production by itself in statistics, is also to a great extent a manufacturing operation.

Perhaps the most telling of all of his statistics is his scoring average.
NBA draft 2000 2000

The misapplication of "statistics" is simply scientism runamok.

To say people are good or bad, acceptable or not, on the basis of group statistics is not very valuable.

Obviously, experts in statistics should add information.
Drug Patents, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty 2009

Theres an important fact in statistics that is ignored by most pollsters.

Yes it has value but statistics is getting to be much more important.
High School Curriculum, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty 2009

So rolling dice isn't science  statistics is a science, and therefore mathematics is.
Blast From the Past 2010

Thanks to computers, which store lots of data to feed statistical models and which use statistical methods to solve many important classes of problems, statistics is growing in importance.
Should Empirics Determine the Curriculum?, Arnold Kling  EconLog  Library of Economics and Liberty 2009
seanahan commented on the word statistics
There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
September 28, 2007
uselessness commented on the word statistics
One of my favorite quotes! So true!
September 28, 2007
PossibleUnderscore commented on the word statistics
How do the statistics work on Wornik? Does someone count the number of times a word appears in the paper or something?
Is it *gasp* madeupical?
December 4, 2009
Prolagus commented on the word statistics
Does that mean that PossibleUnderscore gets the paper version of Wordnik? I quit the subscription when the post office started complaining about the delivery every 30 seconds.
December 4, 2009
Telofy commented on the word statistics
I’d guess it’s an extrapolation from some sort of corpus—consisting of more than just news papers I hope. :)
(And this extrapolation, I hope, takes into account things like uneven distributions over time.)
December 4, 2009
erinmckean commented on the word statistics
We have a big blog post on the Wordnik statistics here: Carbonated Frequencies. It's a little out of date (we fixed some of the known weirdnesses mentioned).
Right now we have a bit of a frequency "hole" for the 1970s and 1980s that we're working to fill with more data. We'll give updates as we have 'em!
December 4, 2009
reesetee commented on the word statistics
That's probably because the 1970s and 1980s were sort of holes themselves. ;)
December 5, 2009