A specialist has an area of expertise in a profession or branch of learning. Call an ear, nose, and throat specialist if you can’t shake a stuffy nose, but go to a Shakespeare specialist to learn about King Lear.

Specialist started off as a word used just for doctors who focused particular diseases or parts of the body, but now a specialist can be someone with a narrow focus in any field. A specialist is any professional with a specialty — lawyers are specialists because each lawyer deals with a specific kind of legal work. To be a specialist you have to study or get experience in a specific field for a long time.

Definitions of specialist
  1. noun
    an expert who is devoted to one occupation or branch of learning
    synonyms: specialiser, specializer
    see moresee less
    Renaissance man, generalist
    a modern scholar who is in a position to acquire more than superficial knowledge about many different interests
    Alphonse Bertillon
    French criminologist (1853-1914)
    Charles Eames
    United States designer noted for an innovative series of chairs (1907-1978)
    show 21 types...
    hide 21 types...
    enologist, fermentologist, oenologist
    a specialist in wine making
    a specialist assigned to the staff of a diplomatic mission
    a specialist in canon law
    a specialist in criminology
    a specialist in crystallography
    dietician, dietitian, nutritionist
    a specialist in the study of nutrition
    educationalist, educationist
    a specialist in the theory of education
    fingerprint expert, fingerprint man, fingerprint specialist
    a specialist in identifying fingerprints
    a specialist in the study of Germanic language or culture or literature
    designer, graphic designer
    someone who specializes in graphic design
    graphologist, handwriting expert
    a specialist in inferring character from handwriting
    decorator, designer, house decorator, interior decorator, interior designer, room decorator
    a person who specializes in designing architectural interiors and their furnishings
    a specialist in the study of freshwater ponds and lakes
    a specialist who studies processes in the earth's atmosphere that cause weather conditions
    oculist, optometrist
    a person skilled in testing for defects of vision in order to prescribe corrective glasses
    a specialist in oriental subjects
    a specialist in the history of the Teutonic people or language (especially with respect to the Teutonic influence on the history of England)
    arborist, tree surgeon
    a specialist in treating damaged trees
    cultural attache
    an attache who is a specialist in cultural matters
    military attache
    an attache who is a specialist in military matters
    weather forecaster, weatherman
    predicts the weather
    type of:
    a person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully
  2. noun
    practices one branch of medicine
    synonyms: medical specialist
    see moresee less
    show 26 examples...
    hide 26 examples...
    Jean Martin Charcot
    French neurologist who tried to use hypnotism to cure hysteria (1825-1893)
    Harvery Williams Cushing
    United States neurologist noted for his study of the brain and pituitary gland and who identified Cushing's syndrome (1869-1939)
    Sir Howard Walter Florey
    British pathologist who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1898-1968)
    Sigmund Freud
    Austrian neurologist who originated psychoanalysis (1856-1939)
    Harold Hirschsprung
    Danish pediatrician (1830-1916)
    Karen Danielsen Horney
    United States psychiatrist (1885-1952)
    Karl Theodor Jaspers
    German psychiatrist (1883-1969)
    Melanie Klein
    United States psychoanalyst (born in Austria) who was the first to specialize in the psychoanalysis of small children (1882-1960)
    Baron Richard von Krafft-Ebing
    German neurologist noted for his studies of sexual deviance (1840-1902)
    Karl Landsteiner
    United States pathologist (born in Austria) who discovered human blood groups (1868-1943)
    Prosper Meniere
    French otologist who first described a form of vertigo now known as Meniere's disease and identified the semicircular canals as the site of the lesion (1799-1862)
    Charles Frederick Menninger
    United States psychiatrist who with his sons founded a famous psychiatric clinic in Topeka (1862-1953)
    Karl Augustus Menninger
    United States psychiatrist and son of Charles Menninger (1893-1990)
    William Claire Menninger
    United States psychiatrist and son of Charles Menninger (1899-1966)
    Sir James Paget
    English pathologist who discovered the cause of trichinosis (1814-1899)
    Wilhelm Reich
    Austrian born psychoanalyst who lived in the United States; advocated sexual freedom and believed that cosmic energy could be concentrated in a human being (1897-1957)
    John Rock
    United States gynecologist and devout Catholic who conducted the first clinical trials of the oral contraceptive pill (1890-1984)
    Francis Peyton Rous
    United States pathologist who discovered viruses that cause tumors (1879-1970)
    Hermann Snellen
    Dutch ophthalmologist who introduced the Snellen chart to study visual acuity (1834-1908)
    Benjamin Spock
    United States pediatrician whose many books on child care influenced the upbringing of children around the world (1903-1998)
    Harry Stack Sullivan
    United States psychiatrist (1892-1949)
    Georges Gilles de la Tourette
    French neurologist (1857-1904)
    Henry Hubert Turner
    United States endocrinologist (1892-1970)
    Rudolf Karl Virchow
    German pathologist who recognized that all cells come from cells by binary fission and who emphasized cellular abnormalities in disease (1821-1902)
    Karl Wernicke
    German neurologist best known for his studies of aphasia (1848-1905)
    Thomas Willis
    English physician who was a pioneer in the study of the brain (1621-1675)
    show 32 types...
    hide 32 types...
    anaesthetist, anesthesiologist, anesthetist
    a specialist who administers an anesthetic to a patient before he is treated
    baby doctor, paediatrician, pediatrician, pediatrist
    a specialist in the care of babies
    cardiologist, heart specialist, heart surgeon
    a specialist in cardiology; a specialist in the structure and function and disorders of the heart
    chiropodist, foot doctor, podiatrist
    a specialist in care for the feet
    dermatologist, skin doctor
    a doctor who specializes in the physiology and pathology of the skin
    diagnostician, pathologist
    a doctor who specializes in medical diagnosis
    medical specialist whose competence has been certified by a diploma granted by an appropriate professional group
    ear doctor, ear specialist, otologist
    a physician who specializes in the ear and its diseases
    a physician who specializes in embryology
    physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the endocrine system
    ENT man, ear-nose-and-throat doctor, otolaryngologist, otorhinolaryngologist, rhinolaryngologist
    a specialist in the disorders of the ear or nose or throat
    geriatrician, gerontologist
    a specialist in gerontology
    gynaecologist, gynecologist, woman's doctor
    a specialist in gynecology
    haematologist, hematologist
    a doctor who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs
    a medical specialist in hygiene
    a specialist in internal medicine
    brain doctor, neurologist
    a medical specialist in the nervous system and the disorders affecting it
    accoucheur, obstetrician
    a physician specializing in obstetrics
    a specialist in oncology
    eye doctor, oculist, ophthalmologist
    a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye
    orthopaedist, orthopedist
    a specialist in correcting deformities of the skeletal system (especially in children)
    a specialist in orthoptics
    a doctor specializing in diseases of the rectum and anus
    head-shrinker, psychiatrist, shrink
    a physician who specializes in psychiatry
    a person who makes radiographs
    radiologist, radiotherapist
    a medical specialist who uses radioactive substances and X-rays in the treatment of disease
    a physician specializing in rheumatic diseases
    a specialist in urology
    a psychiatrist and specialist in the legal aspects of mental illness
    analyst, psychoanalyst
    a licensed practitioner of psychoanalysis
    aetiologist, etiologist
    a specialist in the etiology of diseases
    an obstetrician specializing in perinatology
    type of:
    Dr., MD, doc, doctor, medico, physician
    a licensed medical practitioner
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week