Sci"en*tist (?), n.
One learned in science; a scientific investigator; one devoted to scientific study; a savant.
Twenty years ago I ventured to propose one [a name for the class of men who give their lives to scientific study] which has been slowly finding its way to general adoption; and the word scientist, though scarcely euphonious, has gradually assumed its place in our vocabulary.
B. A. Gould (Address, 1869).
<-- MW10 gives 1834 as first ref. date. -->
© Webster 1913.