I'm looking for a word to describe a person who has significant experience in a particular field (for example, an artist who has worked in the music industry for more than 10 years).

There are some possibilities I have already considered, such as worldly-wise or mature, but these aren't quite what I'm looking for.

  • Expert, Professional, Adept, Specialist.
    – Joe Dark
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 7:10
  • 2
    How is this not simply expert?
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 12:48
  • 1
    @DanBron - You can work in a field for a long time without becoming an expert. Or alternatively you can acquire expertise relatively quickly. Time spent doing something and level of expertise aren't perfectly correlated. Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 15:00

5 Answers 5


Some possibilities include: professional, expert, seasoned, knowledgeable, proficient or simply experienced.

In your case I would go with 'seasoned' as it forms a neat collocation:

Several exhibitions are devoted to seasoned artists.

Mr. Barry is a seasoned artist, with hundreds of exhibitions under his belt.

Now, because of expanding opportunities, dancers start troupes long before they are seasoned artists.


You could also consider "veteran"

a person who has had long experience in a particular field.

How long the experience needs to be before one is considered a veteran is quite subjective but I have certainly seen it applied to quite young people.

At 30, Alicia Keys is a music industry veteran with 35m albums sold


An authority in their field:

An accepted source of expert information or advice. - TFD

(adj: authoritative)

  • That's good, but Erik wanted an adjective, not a noun :) Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 12:03

Not as common for artists, but a person who has extensive knowledge and expertise in a field is known in New York as a "maven". (From Yiddish, which is pervasive in the average New Yorker's vocabulary.) In fact, when you hear someone described as a "big muckety-muck" (big shot) it is a mid-western U.S. interpretation of the Yiddish "macha" or "big macha" - which is what we say in NY. Yiddish not only has a lot of great descriptive terms, but it's very onomatopoeic(?), so it easily becomes part of the lexicon.

  • 2
    Sure, down-vote me now... but when you hear "maven" in a movie or TV show, you will doubtless be appreciative of your new knowledge.
    – Oldbag
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 15:43
  • I was going to suggest maven before I realized it meant expertise but not necessarily experience. You can be a maven with an intense interest in a field without necessarily much actual experience in it. But I do like the word! Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 6:33
  • Why should Yiddish be "very onomatopoeic"? It is a Germanic language and as much onomatopoeic as any other Indo-European language. Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 10:37


The most respected or prominent person in a particular field. — Lexico

  • 1
    Please cite your sources. I encourage you to take the tour of the site and see the help center.
    – livresque
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 2:40

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