nat·​u·​ral·​ist | \ ˈna-chə-rə-list How to pronounce naturalist (audio) , 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

The views of the great naturalist E.O. Wilson notwithstanding, it’s microbes, not insects, that run the world. Quanta Magazine, "Soil’s Microbial Market Shows the Ruthless Side of Forests," 27 Aug. 2019 Volunteer John Elliott, an Oak Park resident who’s retired from the Cook County Forest Preserves, will lead the Evans Field tour with Irene Flebbe, a naturalist from the forest preserve’s Trailside Museum. Felicia Dechter,, "Discover fascinating history on these local walking tours of Oak Park and River Forest," 19 July 2019 Next year, a naturalist will lead workshops for residents on how to use its St. John’s wort and other plants for homeopathic remedies and tonics. Amy Gamerman, WSJ, "Luxury Homes That Promise to Reduce Stress—For $4 Million," 19 Apr. 2018 Roosevelt, ever the naturalist, takes the land as his starting point, introducing man only as a detail in the landscape. Declan Leary, National Review, "Theodore Roosevelt on the Range," 12 Sep. 2019 The fossil footprints, discovered during a construction project, confounded the great naturalists of the day. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "The Long, Strange Tale of the Hand Beast Footprints," 11 Sep. 2019 Apodaca and the naturalist say a Douglas fir in a grassy area north of the state Capitol in Santa Fe is a moon tree. USA TODAY, "Charlottesville remembered, drive-thru ban, ketchup karma: News from around our 50 states," 13 Aug. 2019 Copperheads are part of the ecosystem Although copperheads are venomous and should be avoided, the reptiles are integral to the food chains of the Brown County area, according to Patrick Hauler, the park’s interpretive naturalist. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "A copperhead bit a 7-year-old at a campsite. Here’s what you should know about the snakes.," 15 July 2019 Mark Ross, wearing the wolverine fur, is a naturalist at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks. Anchorage Daily News, "A 60-mile walk under the midnight sun, with no stops for sleep," 22 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of naturalist

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about naturalist

Statistics for naturalist

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for naturalist

The first known use of naturalist was in 1587

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for naturalist



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 How to pronounce naturalist (audio) , ˈnach-rə-\

Kids Definition of naturalist

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

More from Merriam-Webster on naturalist

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).


friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!