nat·​u·​ral·​ist | \ˈna-chə-rə-list, ˈnach-rə-\

Definition of naturalist 

1 : one that advocates or practices naturalism

2 : a student of natural history especially : a field biologist

Examples of naturalist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright stars as a naturalist and wolf expert drawn to Alaska by a woman (American Honey’s Riley Keough) who says wolves killed her young son. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "On Netflix’s complicated Hold the Dark shoot, gratitude was the hardest part," 3 Oct. 2018 Death of a naturalist In Goodsir’s case, the culprit may have been an infected tooth, which was evidently serious enough to leave its mark on the bone of his upper left jaw. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Strands of hair shed light on doomed 19th-century Arctic expedition," 30 Sep. 2018 Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, Fairbanks, AK Alaska has long drawn adventurers and naturalists seeking to capture its wild beauty on canvas. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "12 Incredible Hotels for Art Lovers," 22 Jan. 2018 But there are two walking Wikipedias on board (Captain Greg and a naturalist namedBrandon) who know everything there is to know about the creatures up here. Sunset, "The West’s Best Place for a Wildlife Safari," 22 Jan. 2018 In 1817, author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Mass., "This day in history," 12 July 2018 Altadena filled out with middle-class home buyers, many favoring the naturalist-minimalist philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement. R. Daniel Foster,, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Altadena offers varied architectural styles but few places left to build anew," 11 May 2018 Boca Raton, 561-544-8615, MONTHLY ONGOING Nature Detectives Meets 1st Saturday: Become a Nature Detective with novice naturalist and investigate the mysteries of the world around us. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Boca Raton area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 Guided opportunities are available, too, with a naturalist who will dive into the history, plants, and animals of the Pine Barrens region. Grace Dickinson,, "Where to rent and use kayaks and canoes in and near Philadelphia," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'naturalist.' 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 naturalist

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for naturalist

The first known use of naturalist was in 1587

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English Language Learners Definition of naturalist

: a person who studies plants and animals as they live in nature


nat·​u·​ral·​ist | \ˈna-chə-rə-list, ˈnach-rə-\

Kids Definition of naturalist

: a person who studies nature and especially plants and animals as they live in nature

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Spanish Central: Translation of naturalist

Nglish: Translation of naturalist for Spanish Speakers

Comments on naturalist

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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