>I often hear the word pundit bandied about on television during an election year. I had a vague idea that it meant an authority on a subject and thought maybe it applied only to politics. Close, but no cigar!
Pundit \PUNdit\ (noun)
1. somebody who expresses opinion: a critic or authority on a subject, especially in the media
2. somebody wise: somebody with knowledge and wisdom
3. Same as pandit (Indian religion)*
M-W’s Word Central:
1 : a learned man : teacher
2 : a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media : critic
So any authority on a subject could be called a pundit. For instance, an author might be a pundit on writing or a zookeeper on the care of exotic animals. Now let’s use it in a few sentences:
The zoology pundits expounded on the merits of clean cages for nearly an hour.
Political pundits are in abundance during an election year.
Having offered his lengthy and passionate position on global warming, the pundit was surprised to find he was preaching to the choir.
* Hindu word meaning ‘wise’ or ‘learned’