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Borrowed from Hindi पण्डित (paṇḍit), from Sanskrit पण्डित (paṇḍita, scholar, learned man, teacher, philosopher).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈpʌn.dɪt/
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  • Rhymes: -ʌndɪt


pundit (plural pundits)

  1. An expert in a particular field, especially as called upon to provide comment or opinion in the media; a commentator, a critic. [from 19th c.]
    • 2006, The Observer, 4 Jun 2006:
      This week we introduce Jenny Walker, who will be The Observer's expert pundit for the duration of the World Cup.
  2. A learned person in India; someone with knowledge of Sanskrit, philosophy, religion and law; a Hindu scholar. [from 17th c.]
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘On the City Wall’, In Black and White, Folio Society 2005, p. 430:
      Pundits in black gowns, with spectacles on their noses and undigested wisdom in their insides; bearded headmen of the wards; [...] all these people and more also you might find in the white room.
  3. (historical) A native surveyor in British India, trained to carry out clandestine surveillance beyond British borders.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 295:
      At every hundredth pace the Pundit would automatically slip one bead. Each complete circuit of the rosary thus represented ten thousand paces.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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