Simple Definition of savant
: a person who knows a lot about a particular subject
: a person who does not have normal intelligence but who has very unusual mental abilities that other people do not have
Full Definition of savant
1 : a person of learning; especially : one with detailed knowledge in some specialized field (as of science or literature)
2 : idiot savant 1
Examples of savant in a sentence
<a savant in the field of medical ethics>
Did You Know?
Savant comes from Latin sapere ("to be wise") by way of Middle French, where "savant" is the present participle of savoir, meaning "to know." "Savant" shares roots with the English words "sapient" ("possessing great wisdom") and "sage" ("having or showing wisdom through reflection and experience"). The term is sometimes used in common parlance to refer to a person who demonstrates extraordinary knowledge in a particular subject, or an extraordinary ability to perform a particular task (such as complex arithmetic), but who has much more limited capacities in other areas.
Origin of savant
French, from Middle French, from present participle of savoir to know, from Latin sapere to be wise — more at sage
First Known Use: 1719
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