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Origin of polymath

1615–25; < Greek polymathḗs learned, having learned much, equivalent to poly- poly- + -mathēs, adj. derivative of manthánein to learn
Related formspol·y·math·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for polymath


  1. a person of great and varied learning
Derived Formspolymathic, adjectivepolymathy (pəˈlɪməθɪ), noun

Word Origin for polymath

C17: from Greek polumathēs having much knowledge
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 polymath

1620s, from Greek polymathes "having learned much, knowing much," from polys "much" (see poly-) + root of manthanein "to learn" (see mathematic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper