gen·​er·​al·​ist | \ ˈjen-rə-list How to pronounce generalist (audio) , ˈje-nə- \

Definition of generalist

: one whose skills, interests, or habits are varied or unspecialized

Examples of generalist in a Sentence

The staff includes both generalists and specialists.
Recent Examples on the Web Fortune The editathon had brought together a mix of generalists and specialists. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "Election Results Mean All Nighters For Politicians, Pundits—And Wikipedia Editors," 13 Dec. 2019 The team is also looking to replicate its work with studies of North American flowering trees and of generalist insects that are capable of feeding on many types of plants. Zach St. George, Scientific American, "Can We Identify Invasive Species before They Invade?," 5 Dec. 2019 Plant collectors tend to divide into generalists with broad interests and specialists with expertise in just a few plants. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "This collector-grower built an Eden of rare plants. Now he tackles the challenge to preserve it.," 17 Sep. 2019 Killing campaigns, such as centuries of cod fishing or whaling in the North Atlantic, affect generalist and specialist species equally. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "How the oceans have become hostile for animals," 4 Apr. 2019 The seven-hour marathon will in essence be a series of disconnected interviews, featuring generalist CNN anchors like Wolf Blitzer and Chris Cuomo asking individual candidates about their plans for climate action. Natasha Geiling, The New Republic, "Make Democratic Leaders Pay for Their Climate Cowardice," 3 Sep. 2019 Beginning in the late 20th century, these generalist camps, those of the bug juice and water wars variety, began to receive competition from speciality camps. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "Summer isn't a break for kids or parents," 22 Aug. 2019 Creatures like raccoons are textbook generalists, which inhabit varied environments and consume diverse foods. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "The World Is Our Niche," 3 June 2019 All crocodylians alive today have a similar body shape with relatively simple, conical teeth ideal for their semi-aquatic generalist carnivore lifestyles. Fox News, "Ancient crocodiles had vegetarian cousins that roamed the planet 200 million years ago, research shows," 27 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'generalist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of generalist

1606, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for generalist

Time Traveler

The first known use of generalist was in 1606

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Statistics for generalist

Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Generalist.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for generalist


How to pronounce generalist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of generalist

: a person who knows something about a lot of subjects


gen·​er·​al·​ist | \ ˈjen-(ə-)rə-ləst How to pronounce generalist (audio) \

Medical Definition of generalist

: an individual whose skills or interests extend to several different medical fields especially : general practitioner

Comments on generalist

What made you want to look up generalist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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