Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who has broad general knowledge and skills in several areas.
  • noun A species whose members are able to live in a wide variety of habitats or consume a wide variety of foods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.
  • noun medicine A general practitioner.
  • noun ecology Species which can thrive in a wide variety of environmental conditions.

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

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

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • "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.

    Haven

  • 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.

    Haven

  • 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.

    Haven

  • 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.

    Haven

  • 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.

    Haven

  • 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.

    Haven

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

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  • Specialists are so over-rated.

    December 27, 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

  • 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

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

    December 28, 2007