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

The visitor was Greg Quirin, a career tech ed specialist with the San Diego Unified School District. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "When Hoover High cafeteria worker's story goes viral, her 'other life' is revealed," 13 July 2018 Kate Walden, a communications specialist for Durham, said the company conducted a job fair last month for prospective bus drivers and hire on a year-round basis. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin-area school districts still looking for bus drivers but don't expect start-of-school problems," 12 July 2018 Johnson stars as Will Sawyer, a former FBI operative who’s now a security specialist hired to make sure all is well with this supersized building in Hong Kong. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Skyscraper': 5 totally preposterous moments where Dwayne Johnson has to save the day," 11 July 2018 Chef Damien Eftekhar, a test kitchen specialist, will share secrets and ways of preparing and photographing food, especially for social media. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Clarkson: Feeling lost, but found, in pool or air conditioning this stifling summer," 5 July 2018 After all, veteran forward Luke Babbitt, a three-point specialist with much of the same skills as Robinson, and shooting guard Wayne Ellington, who set a franchise record for threes last season, are both free agents. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Former Michigan star opening eyes on Heat summer league team with 3-point touch, IQ," 4 July 2018 Why is Broidy using a criminal defense specialist to litigate a contract dispute? Paul Campos, Daily Intelligencer, "Broidy Ending Playmate’s Hush Payments Doesn’t Add Up – Unless He’s Covering for Trump," 2 July 2018 Telemedicine also is a huge benefit for folks in rural communities who have a difficult time getting to a doctor or accessing a specialist. Houston Chronicle, "Hookah health news from your very own galaxy," 1 July 2018 Read this: New restaurant plus (maybe?) short-term rentals ahead in Schnitzelburg Becky Gorman, a historic preservation specialist for the city, recommended the application for approval, given the architects reduce the height and increase setbacks. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "Parking for bikes but not cars? This development plan is going green," 28 June 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

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Statistics for specialist

Last Updated

12 Oct 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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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