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[nach-er-uh-list, nach-ruh-] /ˈnætʃ ər ə lɪst, ˈnætʃ rə-/
a person who studies or is an expert in natural history, especially a zoologist or botanist.
an adherent of naturalism in literature or art.
Origin of naturalist
First recorded in 1580-90; natural + -ist
Related forms
antinaturalist, noun, adjective
nonnaturalist, noun
Can be confused
naturalist, naturist, nudist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for naturalist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is thus acting in precisely the same manner as is the naturalist who starts from an altogether different set of premises.

    A Grammar of Freethought Chapman Cohen
  • A naturalist tells us how he attempted to stop one as it was going down to the sea.

  • Every naturalist has his own method of prying into the ways of the fowls of the air or the beasts of the field.

    Glimpses of Indian Birds Douglas Dewar
  • Is one animal or plant more interesting than another to the naturalist?

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • “Look away over there,” the naturalist said, pointing to a distant wall of rock that was many hundred feet high.

    Captured by the Arabs James H. Foster
British Dictionary definitions for naturalist


/ˈnætʃrəlɪst; -tʃərəl-/
a person who is expert or interested in botany or zoology, esp in the field
a person who advocates or practises naturalism, esp in art or literature
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for naturalist

"student of plants and animals," c.1600, from French naturaliste, from natural (see natural (adj.)). Earlier "one who studies natural, rather than spiritual, things" (1580s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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naturalist in Science
A person who specializes in natural history, especially in the study of plants and animals in their natural surroundings.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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