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[pol-ee-math] /ˈpɒl iˌmæθ/
a person of great learning in several fields of study; polyhistor.
Origin of polymath
1615-25; < Greek polymathḗs learned, having learned much, equivalent to poly- poly- + -mathēs, adj. derivative of manthánein to learn
Related forms
polymathic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for polymath
  • Part literary critic, part existential elegist, he presents himself as the polymath's polymath.
  • The polymath's polymath on his epic cookbook, patent-licensing and the law, and why he's getting into nuclear power.
  • He has been a polymath all his life, plunging into one discipline after another.
  • The polymath's polymath on his epic cookbook, patent-licensing and the law, and the appeal of nuclear power.
  • He was deeply engaged with real-world technology, exotic and well traveled, and a polymath respected in so many circles.
  • In this, one hopes that the great polymath was wrong.
  • To call him a polymath would be a gross understatement.
British Dictionary definitions for polymath


a person of great and varied learning
Derived Forms
polymathic, adjective
polymathy (pəˈlɪməθɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Greek polumathēs having much knowledge
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 polymath

1620s, from Greek polymathes "having learned much, knowing much," from polys "much" (see poly-) + root of manthanein "to learn" (see mathematic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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