spe·​cial·​ism | \ ˈspe-shə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce specialism (audio) \

Definition of specialism

1 : specialization in an occupation or branch of learning
2 : a field of specialization : specialty

Examples of specialism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Academics have either been captured by identity politics or else have chosen to retreat into tiny specialisms. The Economist, "The centre cannot hold - the failure of Change UK and the atrophying of political thought," 19 June 2019 Higher education in this period was much more far-ranging than the specialism of a modern university. National Geographic, "Copernicus's revolutionary ideas reorganized the heavens," 9 Apr. 2019 This should lead to a serious discussion in Europe over how the allies can best pool military resources, spread risk and exploit national specialisms to take more responsibility for their own defence. The Economist, "How policy debates in Europe become untethered from reality," 12 July 2018 The researchers created this by observing social interactions between 400 doctors, nurses and technicians during 200 operations covering eight specialisms. The Economist, "Mixed surgical teams lead to less medical error," 2 July 2018 China has piles of data and notable companies in AI specialisms, for example Face++ in facial recognition and iFlytek in speech. The Economist, "SchumpeterHow does Chinese tech stack up against American tech?," 15 Feb. 2018 In America only 15% of women with graduate degrees in science and engineering, which are in short supply, were employed in their specialism in 2011, compared with 31% of men. The Economist, "The gender pay gap," 5 Oct. 2017 With scrupulous respect for the service these women gave, Ms. Alexievich identifies each by specialism and rank. Catherine Merridale, WSJ, "Myths of Mother Russia," 11 Aug. 2017 Ings: Each specialism lost people during the Great Purge [ordered by Stalin to scare and eliminate opposition between 1936 and 1938]. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "The Soviet Union's Scientific Marvels Came From Prisons," 5 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of specialism

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about specialism

Statistics for specialism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for specialism

The first known use of specialism was in 1846

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for specialism



English Language Learners Definition of specialism

British : a particular subject or area of study or practice

More from Merriam-Webster on specialism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with specialism

Comments on specialism

What made you want to look up specialism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!