What word in English describes a quality in person that allows him to learn from any kind of experience? Be this a hobby, homework, or any kind of activity. More specifically, I’m interested how would we call a person who can take advantage from various experiences to learn take new insight and learn something new.

  • 1
    A self-learner?
    – Unrelated
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 20:37
  • A self-learner emphasizes another point, the fact that you're able to grasp subjects on your own, without others' help. The word I'm seeking for, if such a words exists, focuses on the aspects described in the question more.
    – Veritase
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 20:43
  • Are you talking about someone who picks things up quicker than the Average Joe? or someone who primarily learns from experiences rather than passive studying?
    – Chris Gong
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 20:45
  • I suppose my comment was short-hand for saying, I don't think such a word exists but the closest I immediately think of is self-learner because the ability to "grasp subjects on your own without others' help" is necessary in order to "learn from any kind of experience."
    – Unrelated
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 20:45
  • I have in mind someone who primarily learns from experiences. Of course he can learn from passive studying too, it's inclusive, but I want the word to demonstrate the first part more.
    – Veritase
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 20:51

3 Answers 3


Possibly Experiential Learner will work for you.

Experiential Learning

  • The process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as "learning through reflection on doing"

I have come across the phrase Experiential Learning being used most recently at colleges to describe "the process through which students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting" (UCDenver).

In lieu of formal definitions, I give you additional linked examples of use:

  1. Forbes
  2. UCF
  3. UCDavis
  4. UT-Austin

An autodidact is "a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person." (Dictionary.com) I have also heard "sponge" used similarly: He sponges up information. She's a data sponge.


I think, if someone learns from experience, we can say he is guided by experience.

If so, consider empiric.

One who is guided by practical experience rather than precepts or theory. (TFT)

Or assimilator as a noun, but here is an example from Dictionary.come as a verb:

He assimilated many new experiences on his European trip.

So, how about experience-assimilator.

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