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1. One who is devoted to a particular occupation or branch of study or research: an antiquarian who is a specialist in 17th-century Dutch ceramics.
2. A physician whose practice is limited to a particular branch of medicine or surgery, especially one who is certified by a board of physicians: a specialist in oncology.
3. Any of several noncommissioned ranks in the US Army that correspond to that of corporal through sergeant first class.
4. A species with narrow habitat or food requirements: specialists that feed only on carrion.
spe′cial·ist, spe′cial·is′tic adj.