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[jen-er-uh-list] /ˈdʒɛn ər ə lɪst/
a person whose knowledge, aptitudes, and skills are applied to a field as a whole or to a variety of different fields (opposed to specialist).
Origin of generalist
1605-15; general + -ist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for generalist
  • The ministry's hiring preferences get it the type of officials it wants--predominantly, generalist administrators.
  • To have invasive species in our biosphere they need to be generalist and adapted to the overall environment.
  • Generally widespread and common, this species is a generalist feeding in more open areas and wooded savannas.
  • We don't need innumerate politically-slanted generalist mediators filtering ideas for us.
  • The word generalist as it is used by intelligence people has no fixed and useful meaning.
British Dictionary definitions for generalist


/ˈdʒɛnərəlɪst; ˈdʒɛnrə-/
  1. a person who is knowledgeable in many fields of study
  2. (as modifier): a generalist profession
(ecology) an organism able to utilize many food sources and therefore able to flourish in many habitats Compare specialist (sense 3)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for generalist

1610s, from general (adj.) + -ist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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generalist in Medicine

generalist gen·er·al·ist (jěn'ər-ə-lĭst)
A physician whose practice is not oriented in a specific medical specialty but instead covers a variety of medical problems.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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