• synonyms


[nach-er-uh-list, nach-ruh-]
See more synonyms for naturalist on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who studies or is an expert in natural history, especially a zoologist or botanist.
  2. an adherent of naturalism in literature or art.
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Origin of naturalist

First recorded in 1580–90; natural + -ist
Related formsan·ti·nat·u·ral·ist, noun, adjectivenon·nat·u·ral·ist, noun
Can be confusednaturalist naturist nudist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

environmentalist, conservationist, zoologist, ecologist, biologist, botanist, preservationist

Examples from the Web for naturalist

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Let me narrate a fact interesting alike to the naturalist and meteorologist.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • The painter would not depict every twig, as would the naturalist.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • He cannot be a naturalist, until he satisfies all the demands of the spirit.


    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • If you are a naturalist, here are grand forests to contemplate.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • When I read a naturalist or a biologist I am always ashamed of what I have called a sport.

British Dictionary definitions for naturalist


  1. a person who is expert or interested in botany or zoology, esp in the field
  2. a person who advocates or practises naturalism, esp in art or literature
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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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

naturalist in Science


  1. A person who specializes in natural history, especially in the study of plants and animals in their natural surroundings.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.