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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.

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  • Expert, Professional, Adept, Specialist.
    – Joe Dark
    Dec 21, 2014 at 7:10
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    How is this not simply expert?
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 21, 2014 at 12:48
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    @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. Dec 21, 2014 at 15:00

5 Answers 5

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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.

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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

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An authority in their field:

An accepted source of expert information or advice. - TFD

(adj: authoritative)

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

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    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
    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! 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. Dec 31, 2015 at 10:37
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Doyen/Doyenne:

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

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

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