poly·​math | \ ˈpä-lē-ˌmath How to pronounce polymath (audio) \

Definition of polymath

: a person of encyclopedic learning

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Other Words from polymath

polymath or polymathic \ ˌpä-​lē-​ˈma-​thik How to pronounce polymathic (audio) \ adjective
polymathy \ pə-​ˈli-​mə-​thē How to pronounce polymathy (audio) , ˈpä-​lə-​ˌma-​thē How to pronounce polymathy (audio) \ noun

Examples of polymath in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As polymath Jaron Lanier explains, the real purpose of this kind of tech is to manipulate and influence us by tiny, lucrative degrees. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Social Dilemma': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 In the experiment, first proposed in 1801 by British polymath Thomas Young, a beam of photons—particles of light—flies toward a wall with two slits cut in it. Urbasi Sinha, Scientific American, "Quantum Slits Open New Doors," 7 Jan. 2020 The complex device is used to target and measure distances in space, and although it was invented in the 16th century by landmark astronomer and polymath Tycho Brahe, none of his devices survived past shortly after they were made. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Is the Only Working Armillary Sphere on Earth," 2 Jan. 2020 In the 1400s, Leon Battista Alberti, an Italian polymath, upended that understanding, countering that the world was, in fact, fundamentally geometrical. Jessica Gross, Longreads, "Mathematics as a Cultural Force," 27 Sep. 2019 The Norwegian polymath Fridtjof Nansen was first to lead an expedition across the ice sheet, traversing the narrow southern end of the island in 1888. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "In Greenland’s ice, the world’s past, present and future," 21 Dec. 2019 Christian Huygens, a polymath, inventor and clockmaker, noticed this unusual behavior in 1665. Time, "The Day Clocks Changed Across America: What Happened When the U.S. Adopted Standardized Time," 18 Nov. 2019 The 2019 Illusion of the Year is a set of twisting lines made by programmer and polymath Frank Force. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Is the Best Optical Illusion of the Year. Can You Figure It Out?," 20 Dec. 2019 In vast quantities it has been remaindered Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized Behind his wit lurked a polymath. New York Times, "Clive James, a Tireless Polymath Who Led With His Wit," 27 Nov. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for polymath

Time Traveler

The first known use of polymath was in 1621

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Statistics for polymath

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polymath.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polymathic. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for polymath


How to pronounce polymath (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of polymath

formal : someone who knows a lot about many different things

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More from Merriam-Webster on polymath

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for polymath

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polymath

Britannica English: Translation of polymath for Arabic Speakers

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