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 This is a moment when nations struggling to overcome organized crime should be doubling down, according to Alejandro Hope, a security specialist in Mexico. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "A helping hand? Amid pandemic, gangs cast themselves as protectors.," 19 May 2020 Kay Alton, a thirty-eight-year-old behavioral-health specialist in White Salmon, told me. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "A Coronavirus Turf War in Klickitat County," 17 May 2020 Pediatric specialists in the UK recently warned that a small number of children were becoming ill with the rare syndrome that could be linked to coronavirus. Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN, "15 children are hospitalized in New York City with an inflammatory syndrome that could be linked to coronavirus," 5 May 2020 Minor pre-draft injury Biadasz had surgery on an AC joint in his shoulder before the NFL combine after seeing a specialist in Los Angeles to discover the extent of the injury. Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, "10 things to know about new Cowboys center Tyler Biadasz, including the inevitable Travis Frederick comparisons," 1 May 2020 Since there’s no belt to bring your foot back underneath you, running outside requires a bit more of a workload on your glutes, Pamela Geisel, M.S., C.S.C.S., a certified strength and conditioning specialist told Shape. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, "How To Start Running: A Beginner's Guide," 19 Apr. 2020 Think of the Mojave as a parkour specialist to the Rubicon's free climber. Bulking Up Jeep actually hinted at this a few years ago with its Sandstorm concept. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Leads Jeep to a New Sandbox," 17 Apr. 2020 One of the many hurdles states face is the emergence of middlemen and brokers who hold themselves out as specialists in connecting American buyers to foreign manufacturers. Anchorage Daily News, "States do battle for coronavirus protective gear in a market driven by chaos and fear," 11 Apr. 2020 Lieber, a specialist in nanoscience, received more than $15 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Pentagon, requiring him to disclose foreign financial conflicts of interest. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "FBI warned about 'biosecurity risk' after Chinese nationals snuck suspicious vials into US," 1 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for specialist

Time Traveler

The first known use of specialist was in 1836

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Statistics for specialist

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Specialist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specialist. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for specialist


How to pronounce specialist (audio)

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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