poly·math | \ ˈpä-lē-ˌmath \

Definition of polymath 

: a person of encyclopedic learning

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from polymath

polymath or polymathic \ˌpä-lē-ˈma-thik \ adjective
polymathy \pə-ˈli-mə-thē, ˈpä-lə-ˌma-thē \ noun

Examples of polymath in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Google honored Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz with a Google Doodle Sunday (July 1) on what would've been the German philosopher, mathematician and polymath's 372nd birthday. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Google Doodle Celebrates Mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's 372nd Birthday," 1 July 2018 What more explicitly American figure ever has existed than the polymath Mr. F.? Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Confounding questions of fathers and sons in 'Franklinland'," 17 Jan. 2018 Horowitz, aptly described on his website as a polymath, is that and more. Erik Spanberg, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Word Is Murder' is Anthony Horowitz at his ambitious best," 15 June 2018 The Congolese polymath Bodys Isek Kingelez (1948-2015) wasn’t shy about his greatness. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Fantastical Cityscapes of Cardboard and Glue at MoMA," 31 May 2018 The paintings of this Italian polymath have long been overshadowed by the brilliant work of his older brother, Giorgio de Chirico. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 17 May 2018 Guitarist Rafiq Bhatia has always been something of a polymath. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Guitarist Rafiq Bhatia presents a stunningly focused new sound on Breaking English," 29 Mar. 2018 Chicago metal/experimental polymath Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Bloodiest, Corrections House, Brain Tentacles) has just released his second solo album, Broken Limbs Excite No Pity (War Crime Recordings), and will be celebrating its release tonight. Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader, "Quintron’s Weather Warlock and Chicago polymath Bruce Lamont come together for a night of sonic witchcraft and wizardry," 11 May 2018 Birth of Karl Marx — 200 years Few thinkers have influenced the geopolitical landscape to anywhere near the extent that Prussian polymath Karl Marx did with his theories on labor and industry and his articulation of the communist ideal. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Ten Major Anniversaries Worth Traveling For This Year," 30 Jan. 2018

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

1621, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polymath

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polymath

Statistics for polymath

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polymath

The first known use of polymath was in 1621

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for polymath



English Language Learners Definition of polymath

: someone who knows a lot about many different things

More from Merriam-Webster on polymath

See words that rhyme with polymath

Britannica English: Translation of polymath for Arabic Speakers

Comments on polymath

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!