pun·​dit ˈpən-dət How to pronounce pundit (audio)
: pandit
: a learned person : teacher
: a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media : critic
punditry noun

Did you know?

It’s no hot take to say that the original pundits were highly learned scholars and teachers in India; it’s just a statement of fact. Our English word pundit comes from the Hindi word paṇḍit, a term of respect (and sometimes an honorary title) for a wise person, especially one with knowledge of philosophy, religion, and law; its ultimate source is the Sanskrit word paṇḍita, meaning “learned.” English speakers have used pundit to refer to sages of India since the 1600s, but as is typically done with English, they eventually pushed the word into new semantic territory. By the late 1800s, pundit could also refer to a member of what is sometimes called the commentariat or punditocracy—that is, the collective group of political commentators, financial analysts, and newspaper columnists often paid to share their views on a variety of subjects.

Examples of pundit in a Sentence

a moral question that has puzzled the pundits throughout the ages the new mini laptop has gotten a thumbs-up from industry pundits
Recent Examples on the Web The endurance of Never Trump Republicans means that a not insignificant number of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney voters, from pundits on down to suburban parents, are now part of the Democratic base and participating in party primaries. Ben Jacobs, The New Republic, 21 Sep. 2023 However, some liberal and leftist pundits have decried the song’s apparent shaming of people who receive welfare, as well as possible references to conspiracy theories that serve as the foundation of Q’Anon groups. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2023 Duhamel is a Socialist former member of the European Parliament and a renowned political pundit who also headed the governing board of Sciences Po, one of France’s leading universities. Jack Guy, CNN, 6 Sep. 2023 There’s a reason some national pundits said Bill O’Brien was the Patriots’ top acquisition of the offseason. Christopher Price, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Sep. 2023 Pro-regime newspapers, pundits, and even members of Parliament are openly criticizing his economic policies, prompting the president to call in to talk shows to defend his record. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Aug. 2023 Many appearances will be from reality stars, pundits, documentary creators or journalists such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Jake Tapper. Pat Saperstein, Variety, 11 Sep. 2023 After Tremble’s letter was reported by local and national news outlets, Manuel was criticized by conservative pundits and politicians, including Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA. Ben Goggin, NBC News, 25 Aug. 2023 Yet DeBoer follows a long line of pundits in suggesting, without much justification, that elite campuses are reliable microcosms of wider societal trends. Becca Rothfeld, Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Hindi paṇḍit, from Sanskrit paṇḍita, from paṇḍita learned

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pundit was in 1661


Dictionary Entries Near pundit

Cite this Entry

“Pundit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pundit. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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