• The collection and study of postage stamps.

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Example Sentences

“The estate sale included the product of a lifelong interest in philately — dozens of albums filled with rare and interesting stamps.”

“The new museum exhibit on philately included correspondence from World War II, with stamps and postmarks from several European countries.”

“The hobby of philately includes not just collecting stamps, but also different types of postcards and postmarks.”

Word Origin

French, mid-19th century

Why this word?

“Philately” was coined in 1864 by French stamp collector Georges Herpin (the original French word is “philatélie”). “Phil” comes from the Greek word for “love” and “ately” comes from the Greek for “without tax.” Herpin thought this was the best translation for stamps, implying the postage was paid by the sender.

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