a. One that performs a specified action: lobbyist.
b. One that produces, makes, operates, plays, or is connected with a specified thing: novelist.
2. A specialist in a specified art, science, or skill: biologist.
3. An adherent or advocate of a specified doctrine, theory, or school of thought: anarchist.
4. One that is characterized by a specified trait or quality: romanticist.
[Middle English -iste, from Old French, from Latin -istēs, -ista, from Greek -istēs, agent n. suff.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.