from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who has broad general knowledge and skills in several areas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person with a broad general knowledge, especially one with more than superficial knowledge in several areas and the ability to combine ideas from diverse fields.
  • n. A general practitioner.
  • n. Species which can thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a modern scholar who is in a position to acquire more than superficial knowledge about many different interests


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • "If you're down here as a smart college graduate looking for what I call a generalist job in a corporate training program, that's going to be harder to find," Hines said, adding that these positions could be created once the niche areas grow.

    CityBusiness Up to the Minute

  • I am what you call a "generalist" - I can't do everything all on my own, but I "bring the pieces of the puzzle together" by "[advising website owners] on the breadth of challenges they face". at 4: 21 pm

    Blah, Blah! Technology

  • I’d hoped they could match me up with a precog for the rest of my training, but Sandra was what was called a generalist.


  • They're a species we call a generalist, so they are able to exploit the habitats that are available, even in close proximity to humans. "

    Coyotes at Home in American Backyards

  • A synthesizing generalist, which is an apt description of most great for-profit investors, does not have the domain expertise to create social impact business models.

    Paul Brest: The Role of the Philanthropist: Evidence-Based Theories of Change, Round II

  • That may be the first time I've ever been called a generalist without a sneer in the tone.

    A little jello wrestling, a little cheesecake, and, voila! Problem solved

  • If, on the other hand, the firm wants to become a volume-driven player—that is, a generalist on the order of PaperMate, Bic, and Scripto—it must recognize that its effort to climb out of the ditch will be immediately opposed by the #3 incumbent, if not all the fullline generalists.

    The Rule of Three

  • Jeremy is a self-professed creative generalist, which is kind of a bullshit way of saying


  • Here are the top five reasons why being a "jack of all trades," what I prefer to call a "generalist," is making a comeback:

    Tim Ferriss: The Top 5 Reasons to Be a Jack of All Trades

  • Or can find enough in common between disciplines to make something like the JVWR and/or a "generalist" blog like this one make sense?

    Is Terra Nova Aging?


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  • There used to be such a thing as a Renaissance Man, which was a revered title.

    December 28, 2007

  • I absolutely agree with Prof Ortega y Gasset. As a general medical practitioner, it really annoys me that specialists of one sort or another are afforded greater respect than are GPs.

    In my opinion, it requires much more effort to maintain your skills as a generalist and with the increasing complexity of medicine there is a greater and greater requirement for non-specialists to give balanced advice to patients.

    Rant over.

    December 28, 2007

  • Since our society respects specialists and suspects generalists, perhaps the way to solve the shortage of generalists is by creating a new specialty in synthesis and systems. The concept was described by the noted philosopher and essayist José Ortega y Gasset (who was also, for more than a quarter of a century, a professor of metaphysics at Central University of Madrid). He said, "The need to create sound synthesis and systemization of knowledge ... will call out a kind of scientific genius which hitherto has existed only as an aberration: the genius of integration. Of necessity, this means specialization, as all creative effort does, but this time, the person will be specializing in the construction of the whole."

    --Vartan Gregorian, 2004

    December 27, 2007

  • Specialists are so over-rated.

    December 27, 2007