I'm looking for a word that can be used to describe a person who likes to understand how something works and tries to make the same thing in their own way.

Example sentence:

  • Euros is always taking something apart to see how it works ... then she will try to build a better one. She is a real ____.
  • I would say "scientist".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 16:40
  • @HotLicks You’ve got a typo… “scientist” should be “engineer” ;)
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 16:54
  • @ColleenV - Same difference
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


The word tinkerer might fit. To tinker can mean "to repair, adjust, or work with something in an unskilled or experimental manner" (Merriam-Webster). It's the "experimental" part that could make it work for your case.

He's been tinkering with cars since he was a kid, and now he's a tinkerer who knows nearly as much as a mechanic. [source]

  • I see a superscript but can't find the footnote. (I like the word, by the way.) Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 6:34
  • @aparente001 In a dictionary context, the superscript number might relate to one out of several meanings of a word, instead of referring to a footnote. If that's the case, the number is meaningless in this citation.
    – ygoe
    Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 9:46
  • @ygoe No; in a non-historical dictionary, senses are listed in order of currency, so a (7) say will hint strongly at a rare, perhaps confusing, usage. Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 15:57
  • @ygoe The superscript number was a link to the original source, and was not taken from the source itself. I have edited the link to make its purpose clearer.
    – MJ713
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 21:13

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