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From mono- (one, single) + Ancient Greek μάθη (máthē, learning), from μανθάνω (manthánō, I learn). Compare polymath.


monomath (plural monomaths)

  1. A person with an extensive knowledge of a single subject or field, but little knowledge of others.
    • 1960, National Review, Volume 8, page 52:
      It is not a refuge for self-indulgent monomaths to channelize their aggressions within a community of colleagues and students.
    • 2006, Michael Bywater, "Master of all trades", New Statesman, 13 November 2006:
      We don't like polymaths any more. Perhaps it's because even being a monomath is too difficult now; even specialists specialise only in a small subset of their specialty, and learning is an either/or business.
    • 2009, Edward Carr, "The Last Days of the Polymath", Intelligent Life, Autumn 2009:
      Posner first made his name as a monomath. “I had a very big intellectual commitment for many years to anti-trust law. I wrote a lot about that.” Eventually, though, the polymath rose to the surface and he put anti-trust behind him.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:monomath.