Definition of savantism in US English:



  • 1Knowledge or learning. Frequently in later use with pejorative connotations: bookish or conventional learning; erudition without practical application.

  • 2Unusual or exceptional aptitude for a particular task or activity despite significant impairment in other areas of intellectual or social functioning. Also more generally: precocious or prodigious talent in a single field.


Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Our ‘First Families’. From savant + -ism, after French savantisme.