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From zināt (to know) +‎ -nieks. This word existed before zinātne (science); it originally meant “person with experience, knowledge,” “knowledgeable person.” It was first used in the modern sense (“scientist”) by J. Alunāns (dabas zinātnieks “natural scientist” in 1860; compare also valodas zinātnieks “language scientist”, used by K. Valdemārs as a synonym of lingvists). It is possible that this usage of zinātnieks influenced A. Kronvalds to coin the word zinātne.[1]


zinātnieks m (1st declension, feminine form: zinātniece)

  1. (male) scientist, scholar (highly qualified specialist doing research work in some branch of science)
    liels zinātnieksgreat scientist
    zinātnieks ar pasaules vārdua scientist with a world name (= fame, renown)
    mākslas zinātnieksart historian (lit. scientist)
    mūzikas, literatūras zinātnieksmusic, literary scholar
    zinātnieka karjeraa career in science (lit. a scientist's career)
    kabineta zinātnieksan armchair scholar (lit. a cabinet scientist)


Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “zinātne”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN