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simply put- the study of cultures
see the various formal definitions.
Various formal definitions from dictionary.com - variations on similar ideas:
a branch of anthropology dealing with the scientific description of individual cultures. Origin: 1825–35; ethno- + -graphy Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
The branch of anthropology that deals with the scientific description of specific human cultures. eth·nog'ra·pher n., eth'no·graph'ic (ěth'nə-grāf'ĭk), eth'no·graph'i·cal adj., eth'no·graph'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
the branch of anthropology that provides scientific description of individual human societies WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University
That branch of knowledge which has for its subject the characteristics of the human family, developing the details with which ethnology as a comparative science deals; descriptive ethnology. See Ethnology. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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