poly·​math ˈpä-lē-ˌmath How to pronounce polymath (audio)
: a person of encyclopedic learning
polymath adjective
or polymathic

Examples of polymath in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The British polymath Edmond Halley, best remembered as the namesake of Halley’s comet, had foretold it. Joshua Sokol, Quanta Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 The festival’s final night on Sunday, May 12 will feature performances by the iconic genre-bending polymath Beck and hip-hop’s greatest live band, The Roots. Spin Contributor, SPIN, 18 Mar. 2024 Depending upon your point of reference, most people know Terry Allen as the west Texas musician behind the conceptual outlaw country albums Juarez and Lubbock, or as the polymath multimedia artist who attended the Chouinard Art Institute and palled around with the Cool School. Michael Slenske, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Feb. 2024 The new film, which Burns co-directed with daughter Sarah Burns and son-in-law David McMahon, examines the Italian polymath’s unrelenting drive to understand the world and the enduring influence of his legacy. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024 Feldman, a polymath and public intellectual at Harvard Law School, picks up more or less where Magid leaves off. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2024 The latest collection entitled Moncler X Roc Nation is a reflection of Jay-Z’s polymath approach to creativity. Essence, 24 Jan. 2024 Lagerfeld was a polymath, and Karl Lagerfeld: A Life in Houses serves not only as visual proof of his talents across multiple mediums, but also a fascinating glimpse into the interconnectedness of his great creative mind. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 22 Jan. 2024 And though open-concept floor plans have dominated home design for half a century, designers and their customers are recognizing the old polymath was on to something. Lexi Mainland, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2024

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

Word History


Greek polymathēs very learned, from poly- + manthanein to learn — more at mathematical

First Known Use

1621, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polymath was in 1621

Dictionary Entries Near polymath

Cite this Entry

“Polymath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polymath. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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