Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[fiz-uh-sist] /ˈfɪz ə sɪst/
a scientist who specializes in physics.
1710-20; physic(s) + -ist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for physicist
  • On this conformity depends, moreover, the intellectual fascination which chains the physicist to his subjects.
  • Hunt is a physicist, engineer, and inventor who has launched several companies.
  • His eyes are drinking light, focusing on some blank sheet of inner space, the kind a physicist might look at.
  • My grandfather was a nuclear physicist and was always a gadget guy.
  • There is a condensed-matter physicist, a producer of a public radio show, a cellist-even a silversmith.
  • The reactors are totally out of control, as any physicist should know.
  • Out with the defense-industry exec, and in with the physicist-turned-logistics-geek.
  • Ask a quantum physicist to explain why quantum interactions are probabilistic and you'll get a blank stare.
  • On the one hand, an injunction would threaten the career of almost any particle physicist who gave evidence.
  • Sooner or later you run into every physicist you know from every country.
British Dictionary definitions for physicist


a person versed in or studying physics
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for physicist

1836, from physics + -ist. Coined by the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, to denote a "cultivator of physics" as opposed to a physician.

As we cannot use physician for a cultivator of physics, I have called him a physicist. We need very much a name to describe a cultivator of science in general. I should incline to call him a Scientist. Thus we might say, that as an Artist is a Musician, Painter, or Poet, a Scientist is a Mathematician, Physicist, or Naturalist. [William Whewell, "The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences," London, 1840]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for physicist

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for physicist

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with physicist