spe·​cial·​ist | \ ˈspe-sh(ə-)list How to pronounce specialist (audio) \

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 How to pronounce specialistic (audio) \ 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

Co-workers described the psychologist as a specialist in individual therapy who was devoted to her patients and enjoyed vacations, having previously traveled to the Dominican Republic, according to the Allentown Morning Call. Joseph A. Gambardello, https://www.inquirer.com, "Pa. woman among 3 Americans to die at same Dominican Republic resort," 5 June 2019 According to the indictment, Arrington worked as a Search Engine Optimization specialist for several years at an unnamed company that gave him an American Express card. John Holland, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore rapper 'Chad Focus' accused of spending $4.1 million on company credit card to boost music career," 4 June 2019 For further guidance, let the experts at Remote Lands—one of our go-to Vietnam specialists—tailor the perfect itinerary. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Take Your Vietnam Trip to the Next Level," 20 Nov. 2018 As a specialist in Maya civilization, Rathje was well practiced in the study of middens, heaps of ancient rubbish that had provided his field with most of its knowledge about Mesoamerican culture. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 Raymi Wun, who is in his fifth year as a Newport Beach life safety specialist, will be supervising the Big Canyon show. Susan Hoffman, latimes.com, "Newport’s fireworks safety specialists get the Fourth ready to fly," 3 July 2018 Come to work for his company full time as a customer care specialist, and save her rent money to put a down payment on a house. Maureen C. Gilmer, Indianapolis Star, "A chance meeting with 'Undercover Boss' changed Indianapolis woman's life," 26 June 2018 Company President Hernan Luis y Prado, 47, a former Navy hospital corpsman, founded the training program in 2008 with the hope of growing it to 1,500 manufacturing specialists per year and duplicating the program across the country. Roger Showley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Expect some pain before gain in trade war, says Trump's SBA chief," 20 June 2018 Many of her pictures show her beaming while working with physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists to slowly regain mobility. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Here's Why Abby Lee Miller Is In a Wheelchair," 11 May 2019

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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Statistics for specialist

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce specialist (audio) \

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 How to pronounce specialist (audio) \

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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