pun·dit | \ ˈpən-dət \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for pundit


sage, savant, scholar

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Did You Know?

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

With a leader as unpredictable as Trump, that’s a question keeping pundits, advocates, and oddsmakers busy down to the wire. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Trump's Supreme Court Pick May Come From This List. Here's Where They Stand on Women's Issues.," 9 July 2018 Obama warned against taking anything for granted as pundits predict a blue wave could sweep Republicans from power in the U.S. House. Christine Mai-duc, latimes.com, "In L.A., Obama urges donors not to take midterms for granted: 'We are seeing the consequences' of a political story based on fear," 29 June 2018 Nostalgia played no small part in the numbers, pundits say. Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why embrace of 'Roseanne' doesn't always extend to politics," 4 Apr. 2018 Image Margaret Hoover, a conservative, and John Avlon, an independent, are television pundits who are married to each other. New York Times, "Margaret Hoover and John Avlon on their Post-Partisan Marriage," 11 July 2018 Industry pundits suppose the Model Y won't cost much more than the Model 3's $35,000 base price. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know About the Tesla Model Y," 11 July 2018 Hosts Russia are having a fantastic tournament, both in terms of perception and on the field, where Team Russia shocked the pundits by beating Spain on penalities in the second round to advance to the quarterfinals. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "World Cup: Second Round Draws Record Ratings in U.K., France," 4 July 2018 To be fair, there was at least one pundit who said immediately that the Pacers got the better end of the deal. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "One year ago, the Victor Oladipo trade happened. Here's how he gave Pacers fans hope again.," 29 June 2018 Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, defied the pundits by winning an outright re-election victory in the first round of voting. The Economist, "Politics this week," 28 June 2018

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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Statistics for pundit

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for pundit

The first known use of pundit was in 1661

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More Definitions for pundit



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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More from Merriam-Webster on pundit

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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an open space surrounded by woods

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