savant

play
noun sa·vant \sa-ˈvänt, sə-, -ˈväⁿ; sə-ˈvant, ˈsa-vənt\

Definition of savant

  1. 1 :  a person of learning; especially :  one with detailed knowledge in some specialized field (as of science or literature)

  2. 2 :  a person affected with a mental disability (such as autism or mental retardation) who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field (such as mathematics or music); especially :  autistic savant

Examples of savant in a Sentence

  1. a savant in the field of medical ethics

Recent Examples of savant from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'savant'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Savant comes from Latin sapere ("to be wise") by way of Middle French, where "savant" is the present participle of savoir, meaning "to know." "Savant" shares roots with the English words "sapient" ("possessing great wisdom") and "sage" ("having or showing wisdom through reflection and experience"). The term is sometimes used in common parlance to refer to a person who demonstrates extraordinary knowledge in a particular subject, or an extraordinary ability to perform a particular task (such as complex arithmetic), but who has much more limited capacities in other areas.

Origin and Etymology of savant

French, from Middle French, from present participle of savoir to know, from Latin sapere to be wise — more at sage


First Known Use: 1719


SAVANT Defined for English Language Learners

savant

play
noun

Definition of savant for English Language Learners

  • : a person who knows a lot about a particular subject

  • : a person who does not have normal intelligence but who has very unusual mental abilities that other people do not have


Medical Dictionary

savant

play
noun sa·vant \sa-ˈvänt, sə-, -ˈvant\

Medical Definition of savant

  1. :  a person affected with a mental disability (such as autism or mental retardation) who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field (such as mathematics or music); especially :  autistic savant



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