au·​to·​di·​dact ˌȯ-tō-ˈdī-ˌdakt How to pronounce autodidact (audio) -dī-ˈdakt How to pronounce autodidact (audio)
: a self-taught person
was an autodidact who read voraciously
autodidactic adjective

Examples of autodidact in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unlike Lang, Do is not an autodidact who rose from obscurity. Tara Gonzalez, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 Sep. 2023 Top Stories Joel Edgerton plays Narvel Roth, the film’s narrator, an autodidact who writes doggerel in his private journal, while Schrader shows scenes of him posing as head groundskeeper of Gatewood Gardens. Armond White, National Review, 24 May 2023 Partly to compensate for his lack of a formal education, Somers is an obsessive autodidact. Popular Mechanics, 14 Apr. 2023 But laws are slow to leave the books, and the Music & Amusement Association needed someone like Sharpe — an autodidact with no financial ties to the industry — to hasten the process. Adam Ruben, Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2023 My mother was an incredible autodidact, sharp and creative in her own right. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, 12 Dec. 2022 The challenge for such an autodidact, then, is how to transcend the limits of personal experience when personal experience is the most reliable source of insight. Daniel Rasmussen, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2023 Mering is a movie lover, a big reader, and something of an autodidact. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2022 In 1825, British autodidact Benjamin Gompertz found the risk of death increases exponentially with age. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 29 Jan. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'autodidact.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin & Greek; New Latin autodidactus "self-taught," borrowed from Greek autodídaktos, from auto- auto- + didaktós "taught, learned" — more at didactic

First Known Use

1784, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of autodidact was in 1784

Dictionary Entries Near autodidact

Cite this Entry

“Autodidact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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