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

Other new vendors include a build-your-own-burger bar, a deep-fried cookie dough spot, a pierogi specialist and Thelma’s Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Minnesota State Fair’s new foods include grits, lamb chops, duck wings and lots on a stick," 18 June 2019 On-site orthopedic specialists and rehabilitation services also will be available. Kara Carlson, Dallas News, "New $10M sports medicine center in Allen brings together injury prevention, treatment and training," 18 June 2019 In September, a team of forensic anthropologists, FBI specialists and Chaffee County law enforcement officers discovered bones believed to be England’s remains. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Colorado Cold Cases: 39 years ago today Beverly England vanished and authorities still are piecing together how she died," 12 June 2019 Here's how to do each move: Demoing the moves below is Amanda Wheeler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and cofounder of Formation Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and allies. Amy Marturana, SELF, "A 4-Move Lower-Body Kettlebell Workout to Strengthen Your Legs and Butt," 11 June 2019 Appointees will be made by the governor, Senate president pro tem and House speaker and would include a pharmacist, a mental health/substance abuse specialist and two members representing agricultural interests. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Medical marijuana isn’t legal in Alabama; Bill only establishes study," 11 June 2019 Newsletter Sign-up Software and applications developers, computer user support specialists and computer systems engineers and architects continued to be the most in-demand tech skills sought by employers, CompTIA said. Angus Loten, WSJ, "Tech Hiring a Bright Spot Amid Weaker Job Growth," 8 Mar. 2019 Her father is an art specialist and was a close friend of the painter Francis Bacon, and her mother is a curator. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Clio Peppiatt Is the Label You Want for Your Holiday Party Dressing Wardrobe This Year," 28 Nov. 2018 John Arnett, economic development specialist and administrative officer at the US Small Business Association, will provide an overview on counseling, lending programs, government contracting, and disaster loans. BostonGlobe.com, "Tea by the sea, Korean peace medals, and $2,000 to fight hunger," 13 July 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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Statistics for specialist

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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