non·​spe·​cial·​ist ˌnän-ˈspe-sh(ə-)list How to pronounce nonspecialist (audio)
plural nonspecialists
: a person who does not specialize in a particular occupation, practice, or branch of learning : a person who is not a specialist
The geometry text is clear enough for the nonspecialist to understand.
As always in his writing for nonspecialists, Mr. Gould draws clever connections to popular culture.James Gleick
often used before another noun
a presentation geared toward nonspecialist audiences

Examples of nonspecialist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the nonspecialist, much of the work in cutting-edge physics can seem doubly impenetrable, both because it is girded by equations and because its significance is not immediately evident. Samanth Subramanian, The New Republic, 6 Apr. 2021 Information warfare is designed to bamboozle, but its digital variant can be especially baffling to the nonspecialist. Jonathan Freedland, The New York Review of Books, 3 Aug. 2020 But Stewart writes with poetic grace and a nonspecialist’s appreciation of printmaking, painting, literature and architecture. Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2020 Individual members were encouraged to engage with all aspects of the effort, to ensure that the treatise would be accessible to nonspecialists. David Gunderman, The Conversation, 7 Dec. 2019 At the time, electricity was not well understood by nonspecialists. Wired, 18 Sep. 2019 Much of the work produced today is too narrow and esoteric to interest nonspecialists. Jason Willick, WSJ, 13 Mar. 2019 These happy words require a few layers of explanation for nonspecialists. Alastair MacAulay, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2018 The fight for equity in treatment for opioid addiction can feel like a multifront battle; in some cases, experts struggle just to persuade policymakers and nonspecialists that prescribing an opioid to a drug addict is a reasonable course of action. Written By Jose A. Del Real; Photographs By Ryan Christopher Jones, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nonspecialist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1779, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nonspecialist was in 1779

Dictionary Entries Near nonspecialist

Cite this Entry

“Nonspecialist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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