Ever heard this word before?

The word of the day is none other than polymath, which sounds like something right out of an algebra book. 

I first came across this world earlier this year while watching a YouTube video that described Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, as a polymath. 

So what does polymath mean, you ask? The fact that it contains "poly" means you can at least infer that it has to do with many of something. 

Per Wikipedia, it's a person whose expertise spans a wide range of subject areas. Dictionary.com defines polymath as a person of encyclopedic learning.

The term is often linked to great thinkers of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment who excelled at various fields in science and the arts.

Aside from Jefferson, other famous polymaths include:
  • Galileo
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Aristotle
  • Copernicus
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Isaac Newton
I probably won't be a polymath in this lifetime, but it's because I strive to be highly knowledgeable only in the three areas about which I'm most passionate: writing, history, and psychology. Three subjects hardly qualifies someone for the distinction of polymath. Also, though I have a great memory, I definitely wouldn't call it encyclopedic. 

Had you ever heard or used the word polymath before?  Can you think of any other famous people -- whether dead or alive -- who could be considered polymaths?

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