spe·cial·ist | \ ˈspe-sh(ə-)list \

Definition of specialist 

1 : one who specializes in a particular occupation, practice, or field of study a specialist in disorders of the immune system a specialist in international law "What does Dr. James Mortimer, the man of science, ask of Sherlock Holmes, the specialist in crime?" —Arthur Conan Doyle

2 : an enlisted rank in the U.S. Army corresponding to the grade of corporal also : any of several former enlisted ranks corresponding to the grades of sergeant through sergeant major

3 : an organism (such as a bird) specialized especially in food or habitat

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Other words from specialist

specialist or specialistic \ˌspe-shə-ˈli-stik \ adjective

Examples of specialist in a Sentence

She consulted a marketing specialist when she decided to go into business. He saw a specialist for his foot problem.

Recent Examples on the Web

Hays spent several weeks in a boot, and recently saw a specialist to evaluate the injury. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles notes: Ramírez to start Saturday; Tillman expected to make final rehab start Sunday," 12 July 2018 For these types of skin issues, a dermatologist would refer you to a specialist in treating that specific cancer. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Skin Cancer: A Visual Guide to Identifying Warning Signs on Your Body," 2 July 2018 Because of the severity of her injuries, she wasthen taken to a specialist in the United States. Jared Leone, ajc, "Parasail accident: Woman injured after drifting in the wind for 45 terrifying minutes," 30 June 2018 Many patients today wait months to see a pain specialist, and the additional demands on the specialists’ time would only make that situation worse. WSJ, "Should the Government Limit a Physician’s Ability to Treat Patients With Opioids?," 24 June 2018 The first one is June 7, but staff there will add more dates monthly if there's demand for it, according to Sephora skincare specialist Brie Cruz, who's in charge of putting together the store's Classes for Confidence. Chelsea Brasted, NOLA.com, "Sephora at Lakeside Mall to offer makeup classes for transgender community," 4 June 2018 Joel Heiser, a retired doctor, answers questions about physical ailments, including sore joints or muscles, arthritis, back pain or when to see a specialist. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Poker Tourney raises $250K for Boys&Girls Club...community news," 25 May 2018 The plan together with granting 10-year visas to specialists in the fields of medicine, science and research aims to boost foreign investment in the second-biggest Arab economy. Arif Sharif, Bloomberg.com, "U.A.E. Not Alone in GCC in Allowing 100% Foreign Firm Ownership," 21 May 2018 In the computer and information technology, or IT, sector demand outstripped supply for nearly every position from computer network architect to computer user support specialist. Olivera Perkins, cleveland.com, "In-demand jobs go unfilled because workers lack skills: Team NEO report," 7 May 2018

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

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to specialist

specialist shop

Statistics for specialist

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for specialist

The first known use of specialist was in 1836

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More Definitions for specialist



English Language Learners Definition of specialist

: a person who has special knowledge and skill relating to a particular job, area of study, etc.

: a doctor who deals with health problems that relate to a specific area of medicine

: a rank in the U.S. Army that is above the rank of private and below the rank of corporal


spe·cial·ist | \ ˈspe-shə-list \

Kids Definition of specialist

1 : a person who studies or works at a special occupation or branch of learning a specialist in animal behavior an eye specialist

2 : an enlisted person in the army with a rank similar to that of corporal


spe·cial·ist | \ ˈspesh-(ə-)ləst \

Medical Definition of specialist 

: a medical practitioner whose practice is limited to a particular class of patients (as children) or of diseases (as skin diseases) or of technique (as surgery) especially : a physician who is qualified by advanced training and certification by a specialty examining board to so limit his or her practice

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More from Merriam-Webster on specialist

Spanish Central: Translation of specialist

Nglish: Translation of specialist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of specialist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on specialist

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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