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Etymology 1[edit]

complete +‎ -ist. Originally from fanspeak, the slang of science fiction fans.


completist (plural completists)

  1. A collector who strives to obtain a complete collection of some type of thing.
    • 1944, John Bristol Speer, Fancyclopedia[1], Completist:
      completist - A dope who tries to have a complete collection in some line. The line may be as broad as having all the prozines ever published, or as narrow as collecting all the Golden Atom tales or all official correspondence during one's incumbency in some office. The trouble arises when the collector misses purchasing an issue (or fails to keep a carbon copy, or whatever), or when his ambitions extend back to a time before he started saving the stuff. Then he prowls the 2d-hand magazine shops, writes letters to everybody who mite know where a particular prize is, worries librarians and other public servants, and occasionally makes a marvelous find in some unexpected place and goes around rejoicing.
    • 1953 Winter, William "Bob" Tucker, “The Philadelphia Story”, Science Fiction Newsletter, number 28, page 13: 
      Ozzie Train, secretary. Ozzie needs little introduction, other than that he is the remaining half of Prime Press, and a genuine completist.
    • 1997 June, Harvey Pekar, “CD Reviews”, JazzTimes, ISSN 0272-572-X, pages 120–121: 
      There's no new material on it, just previously issued bits and pieces. That rules out the completist collector. Go figure.
    • 2014 June 21, Matt Selman, “The Completist”, Time:
      But it’s even harder for me, because… I am a completist. Once I start reading an author’s work, I need to read everything that writer has written. I can’t veer away. I need to check all that author’s books off my mental list. My knowledge of their work must be complete.

Related terms[edit]


completist (not comparable)

  1. Which attempts to collect something completely; as, a completist dictionary, a completist collector

Etymology 2[edit]


completist (plural completists)

  1. A person who champions any philosophy which somehow includes the completeness of something; as, a completist philosopher who holds that a definite complete body of knowledge exists to be discovered

Etymology 3[edit]


completist (comparative more completist, superlative most completist)

  1. (obsolete) Alternative spelling of completest.