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
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘specialist'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up specialist for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer