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Definition of Anthropology

(noun) The holistic study of humanity, past & present, typically divided into four sub-fields: archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, and physical anthropology.

Anthropology Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: an·thro·pol·o·gy

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /an-thruh-pAHl-uh-jee/
  • British English – /an-thruh-pOl-uh-jee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˌænθrəˈpɑlədʒi/
  • British English – /ˌanθrəˈpɒlədʒi/

Usage Notes

Related Quotation

  • “Anthropology seeks to understand human existence over geographic space and evolutionary time, whereas sociology seeks to understand contemporary social organization, relations, and change” (Kendall 2006:7).

Additional Information

Related Terms


Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Works Consulted

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (https://britannicalearn.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Anthropology

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “anthropology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 23, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/anthropology/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

anthropology. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/anthropology/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “anthropology.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 23, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/anthropology/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“anthropology.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 23 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/anthropology/>.