Definition of savant in US English:

savant

noun

  • A learned person, especially a distinguished scientist.

    See also idiot savant
    • ‘Inscriptions in both French and Latin were composed by the Petite Academie, a committee of savants that advised the Batiments du Roi on matters of allegory and erudition.’
    • ‘Baudin had sailed south from Timor, avoiding the continental coast, and then east to Tasmania, where he allowed his savants generous time to investigate the flora and fauna and to observe the indigenous population.’
    • ‘I wanted to link up what Brits were up to in the period 1600 to 1900 and what other cultures, people, savants and natural philosophers are doing to give a networked picture of the development of the sciences.’
    • ‘The episode shows how late-17th century savants were unanimous in their choice of Boyle and Newton as the two great icons of early-modern science.’
    • ‘Mersenne both kept in touch with savants all over Europe, and seems to have had a clear vision himself of what a new philosophy must consist in.’
    • ‘The very genre of the scientific autobiography is a 19 th-century invention: we learn about the lives of 18 th-century savants from eulogies, not confessions.’
    • ‘Maier is among an estimated 50 people in the world recognized as prodigious savants whose abilities are as remarkable as their limitations.’
    • ‘They're obsessed with systems, and they're good at systemizing, even when they don't happen to be mathematics professors or savants.’
    • ‘Both he and his older sister Maria Anna ‘Nannerl’ Mozart were child prodigies, but the world had never seen a musical savant like Wolfgang.’
    • ‘It is not enough for a few savants to be privy to esoteric mathematical knowledge for that knowledge to be influential in a wider culture.’
    • ‘Among those on board were the equivalents of Baudin's savants - Flinders' own preferred term was ‘scientific gentlemen’.’
    • ‘Beeckman was a savant with a wide range of scientific interests, and his influence on the younger man was considerable.’
    • ‘The process was begun with the savants who were sent by Napoleon to accumulate information for the multivolume Description de l' Egypte.’
    • ‘Gigerenzer seems to think that considered debate between these savants would permit a slower but better guided development of scientific psychology.’
    • ‘Towards the end of the nineteenth century, did not the savants declare that the only difference between the physical and chemical forces consists of the special rates of vibration of the etheric particles?’
    • ‘It involved not only building a library, but inviting savants from all over the Greek world to live in Alexandria.’
    • ‘At first, with the support of international scientists including Thomas Jefferson, the nation's finest savants reckoned that the pendulum would set a fair and globally convincing standard.’
    intellectual, scholar, sage, philosopher, thinker, learned person, wise person, solomon
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 18th century: French, literally ‘knowing (person)’, present participle (used as a noun) of savoir.

Pronunciation