What does Philosophy mean?

Definitions for Philosophy
fɪˈlɒs ə fiphi·los·o·phy

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Philosophy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. doctrine, philosophy, philosophical system, school of thought, ismnoun

    a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school

  2. philosophynoun

    the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics

  3. philosophynoun

    any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation

    "self-indulgence was his only philosophy"; "my father's philosophy of child-rearing was to let mother do it"


  1. philosophynoun

    (originally) The love of wisdom

  2. philosophynoun

    An academic discipline that seeks truth through reasoning rather than empiricism

  3. philosophynoun

    A comprehensive system of belief.

  4. philosophynoun

    A view or outlook regarding fundamental principles underlying some domain.

  5. philosophynoun

    A general principle (usually moral).

  6. philosophynoun

    A broader branch of (non-applied) science

  7. philosophyverb

    To philosophize.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


    Etymology: philosophie, Fr. philosophia, Latin.

    I had never read, heard nor seen any thing, I had never any taste of philosophy nor inward feeling in myself, which for a while I did not call to my succour. Philip Sidney.

    Hang up philosophy;
    Unless philosophy can make a Juliet,
    Displant a town, reverse a prince’s doom,
    It helps not. William Shakespeare.

    The progress you have made in philosophy, hath enabled you to benefit yourself with what I have written. Digby.

    We shall in vain interpret their words by the notions of our philosophy, and the doctrines in our schools. John Locke.

    Of good and evil much they argu’d then
    Vain wisdom all and false philosophy. John Milton.

    His decisions are the judgment of his passions and not of his reason, the philosophy of the sinner and not of the man. John Rogers, Sermons.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Philosophynoun

    literally, the love of, including the search after, wisdom; in actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws

  2. Philosophynoun

    a particular philosophical system or theory; the hypothesis by which particular phenomena are explained

  3. Philosophynoun

    practical wisdom; calmness of temper and judgment; equanimity; fortitude; stoicism; as, to meet misfortune with philosophy

  4. Philosophynoun

    reasoning; argumentation

  5. Philosophynoun

    the course of sciences read in the schools

  6. Philosophynoun

    a treatise on philosophy

  7. Etymology: [OE. philosophie, F. philosophie, L. philosophia, from Gr. filosofi`a. See Philosopher.]


  1. Philosophy

    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group". The word "philosophy" comes from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία, which literally means "love of wisdom". The introduction of the terms "philosopher" and "philosophy" has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras. A "philosopher" was understood as a word which contrasted with "sophist". Traveling sophists or "wise men" were important in Classical Greece, often earning money as teachers, whereas philosophers are "lovers of wisdom" and were therefore not in it primarily for the money.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Philosophy

    the science of sciences or of things in general, properly an attempt to find the absolute in the contingent, the immutable in the mutable, the universal in the particular, the eternal in the temporal, the real in the phenomenal, the ideal in the real, or in other words, to discover "the single principle that," as Dr. Stirling says, "possesses within itself the capability of transition into all existent variety and varieties," which it presupposes can be done not by induction from the transient, but by deduction from the permanent as that spiritually reveals itself in the creating mind, so that a Philosopher is a man who has, as Carlyle says, quoting Goethe, "stationed himself in the middle (between the outer and the inner, the upper and the lower), to whom the Highest has descended and the Lowest mounted up, who is the equal and kindly brother of all." "Philosophy dwells aloft in the Temple of Science, the divinity of the inmost shrine; her dictates descend among men, but she herself descends not; whoso would behold her must climb with long and laborious effort; may still linger in the forecourt till manifold trial have proved him worthy of admission into the interior solemnities." Indeed philosophy is more than science (q. v.); it is a divine wisdom instilled into and inspiring a thinker's life. See Thinker, The.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. philosophy

    Our highest conception of life, its duties and its destinies.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Philosophy

    A love or pursuit of wisdom. A search for the underlying causes and principles of reality. (Webster, 3d ed)

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    Something that enables the rich to say there is no disgrace in being poor.

Editors Contribution

  1. philosophy

    Is the science and study of creation, language, thought, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, soul, spiritual being, ethics, wisdom and metaphysics.

    Philosophy is amazing to study and with the internet it has speed up our knowledge and information to contribute to the evolution of humanity

    Submitted by MaryC on March 15, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Philosophy' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2887

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Philosophy' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3792

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Philosophy' in Nouns Frequency: #1183

How to pronounce Philosophy?

How to say Philosophy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Philosophy in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Philosophy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of Philosophy in a Sentence

  1. Paul Graham:

    It can be interesting to study ancient philosophy, but more as a kind of accident report than to teach you anything useful.

  2. Mayor Bloomberg:

    The way you should get the guns out of the kids hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them, the way he feels about people is so demeaning. The policy may have been stop and frisk, but the philosophy was to castigate and denigrate people of color, and its a disgrace.

  3. Dick Durbin:

    There are two issues that came up repeatedly yesterday from the other side of the aisle that I want to address at the outset. One of them was a question of judicial philosophy, lo and behold, I've discovered the answer. It turns out that during the course of your time as a judge, you have… written opinions – 573, to be exact. I think maybe I'm off, what, one or two? And they more or less express your view of the law.

  4. Jeremy Hartwell:

    I've actually, I've never really been that interested in Reality TV. Reality TV just, you know, was never that entertaining for me, but I have a personal philosophy of seeking out new experiences, challenging Jeremy Hartwell, doing stuff that seems scary -- and this kind of fit all of the criteria there. I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I never actually thought I would be cast.

  5. Mmusi Maimane:

    The initial phases have started, it doesn't mean I endorse the EFF's view on white South Africans or that I endorse their philosophy on nationalization.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Philosophy

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for Philosophy »


Find a translation for the Philosophy definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these Philosophy definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "Philosophy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Jan. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Philosophy>.

    Are we missing a good definition for Philosophy? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    someone who takes the place of another person
    • A. opaque
    • B. dependable
    • C. alternate
    • D. suspicious

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for Philosophy: