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

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 In his new book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, author David Epstein makes the case that generalists are better positioned than specialists to excel. Judith Samuelson, Quartz at Work, "Why Stephen Schwarzman’s big gift to Oxford matters for everyone else," 20 June 2019 These misconceptions include the notion that historians are generalists, and therefore know all history. Karin Wulf, Twin Cities, "Karin Wulf: What Naomi Wolf and Cokie Roberts teach us about the need for historians," 13 June 2019 Exantus is a generalist, scouring yard sales for bargains on old appliances and leftover construction supplies. Rowan Moore Gerety, Harper's magazine, "Downstream," 10 June 2019 Rare are those generalists that exhibit a multitude of peak abilities. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for generalist

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for generalist

The first known use of generalist was in 1606

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More Definitions for generalist



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).


recurring in steady succession

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