Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, early 18th century
A learned person, especially a distinguished scientist.
Examples of Savant in a sentence
"We hired him based on his reputation as a savant in the field of biochemistry. "
"I was honored to be seated next to the department’s savant at the reception."
In French, “savoir” is a verb meaning to know. We adopted the present participle (savant) as a noun in English for an impressively learned person. The woman who wrote every book on a given subject, and the professor at the top of his field? Savants.
Did you Know?
You might be familiar with the condition called “savant syndrome” from the movie “Rain Man.” In it, Dustin Hoffman plays a man with autism who has incredible skill with numbers and memory. Savant syndrome applies to people with mental disabilities who have exceptional skill in certain areas.