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 While Jean-Baptiste Lamarck is best known for his misguided ideas about the mechanisms of evolution, the French naturalist was right about the problem of species. Zach St. George, Harper's Magazine, "Birds of a Feather," 27 Apr. 2021 Over the last 15 years, 17,886 young sturgeon produced by the partnership have been released into the Milwaukee River or harbor, said Mary Holleback, Riveredge senior naturalist who runs the sturgeon project. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Return of Milwaukee River sturgeon a hopeful milestone," 11 Apr. 2021 Other figures whose namesake schools were targeted include Thomas Jefferson, senator and Mexican-American War veteran Robert F. Stockton and naturalist John Muir. NBC News, "San Francisco board halts process to rename Washington, Lincoln and Feinstein schools," 7 Apr. 2021 Why, the great naturalist wondered, was such a seemingly intelligent species scratching out an existence in this tiny, remote range at the bottom of the planet? Paul Kvinta, Outside Online, "The Mystery of the Falkland Islands' Striated Caracara," 2 Apr. 2021 Crystal divination was described by Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and naturalist, in the 1st century A.D. Washington Post, "‘Healing’ crystals are having a pandemic moment. But science says they’re just pretty stones.," 29 Mar. 2021 But this grand 1840s house museum with its lush courtyards is named for the famed naturalist whose paintings of Florida birds are truly iconic. Tracey Minkin, Travel + Leisure, "Florida Keys Travel Guide," 2 Mar. 2021 Writer, naturalist and activist Williams is known for her fierce advocacy and impassioned, lyrical prose. Rich Heileman, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County Library hosts Writers Center Stage Series: Around The Town," 19 Feb. 2021 These human practices are presented with cold disgust, in stark contrast to the way the film looks at the kaiju, with a naturalist’s curiosity and respect. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, "My Heart Belongs to the MonsterVerse," 7 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for naturalist

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The first known use of naturalist was in 1587

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Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Naturalist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of naturalist for Spanish Speakers

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