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[fiz-uh-sist] /ˈfɪz ə sɪst/
a scientist who specializes in physics.
Origin of physicist
1710-20; physic(s) + -ist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for physicist


a person versed in or studying physics
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 physicist

1836, from physics + -ist. Coined by the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, to denote a "cultivator of physics" as opposed to a physician.

As we cannot use physician for a cultivator of physics, I have called him a physicist. We need very much a name to describe a cultivator of science in general. I should incline to call him a Scientist. Thus we might say, that as an Artist is a Musician, Painter, or Poet, a Scientist is a Mathematician, Physicist, or Naturalist. [William Whewell, "The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences," London, 1840]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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