pun·​dit | \ ˈpən-dət How to pronounce pundit (audio) \

Definition of pundit

1 : pandit
2 : a learned person : teacher
3 : a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media : critic

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Other Words from pundit

punditry \ ˈpən-​də-​trē How to pronounce punditry (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for pundit


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The original pundits were highly respected teachers and leaders in India. Their title was taken from the Hindi word pandit, a term of respect for a wise person that itself derives from the Sanskrit pandita, meaning "learned." English speakers began using the form pundit specifically to refer to those Hindu sages as long ago as the 1600s. By the 1800s, they had also extended the term to refer to other sagacious individuals, and now pundit is often used with a hint of sarcasm to refer to informed opinion makers (such as political commentators, financial analysts, and newspaper columnists) who boldly share their views (sometimes at great length) on just about any subject that lies within their areas of expertise.

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 More pundits are equating the latest leg of the bull run to the one that occurred in the late 1990s, which ended with the eruption of the dot-com bubble. Sarah Ponczek, Bloomberg.com, "Extreme Valuation Cases Wanted for a Red-Hot Rally in Equities," 19 May 2020 But the fissure underscored Mr. Trump’s keen sensitivity to any hint of criticism from his preferred TV network, where star pundits like Sean Hannity and Steve Doocy have made prime-time and morning shows into pro-Trump cheering platforms. Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, "At Fox News, Mixed Message on Malaria Drug: ‘Very Safe’ vs. ‘It Will Kill You’," 19 May 2020 This makes the Warriors less apt to use an early pick on Wiseman — or any other big man, for that matter — than some pundits might assume. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "How Marquese Chriss’ emergence affects Warriors’ draft decisions," 19 May 2020 Featuring interviews with campaign staff, journalists and pundits, the doc examines Sanders’ popularity among young voters and media coverage of his campaign. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The story behind new Bernie Sanders documentary," 16 May 2020 Yet, policymakers and pundits too often draw the wrong lesson from World War II: namely, that government can simply order up scientific knowledge and direct it to solve practical problems. Mark P. Mills, National Review, "The Auspicious History — and Future — of Basic Science Research," 29 Apr. 2020 One potential explanation for the partisan patterns is that some Republican Party leaders or media pundits are playing down the severity of the risks. Jonathan Rothwell, BostonGlobe.com, "A survey of essential workers shows a political divide," 27 Apr. 2020 Several Twitter pundits voiced their frustration that the testing in the state has not begun to show the impact of COVID-19, so changes in social distancing should have been postponed until that improvement was made. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "‘Going too fast too soon’: Gov. Kemp blasted for move to open nail salons, bowling alleys," 21 Apr. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has forced governments worldwide to reckon with recession or, as some pundits predict, depression. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "The coronavirus pandemic is a test for how society can thrive without growth," 16 Apr. 2020

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

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pundit

Hindi paṇḍit, from Sanskrit paṇḍita, from paṇḍita learned

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The first known use of pundit was in 1661

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Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pundit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pundit. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for pundit


How to pronounce pundit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pundit

: a person who knows a lot about a particular subject and who expresses ideas and opinions about that subject publicly (such as by speaking on television and radio shows)

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pundit

Spanish Central: Translation of pundit

Nglish: Translation of pundit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pundit for Arabic Speakers

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