Word of the Day Archive
Monday June 24, 2002
polymath \POL-ee-math\ , noun:
A person of great or varied learning; one acquainted with various subjects of study.
A century after Aristotle, in 240 B.C., a brilliant polymath, Eratosthenes, is appointed chief librarian of the Museum at Alexandria--the most cosmopolitan city and center of learning in the Mediterranean world.
-- Alan Gurney, Below the Convergence
Alan Kay, for instance, one of the wizards of PARC and now an Apple fellow, is a polymath accomplished in math, biology, music, developmental psychology, philosophy, and several other disciplines.
-- Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman, Organizing Genius
Like her literary heroine, George Eliot, Kingsolver is an old-fashioned polymath, curious about all branches of human learning.
-- Sarah Kerr, "The Novel As Indictment", New York Times, October 11, 1998
Polymath is from Greek polymathes, "having learned much," from poly-, "much" + manthanein, "to learn."