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I want an adjective to define someone who is very knowledged of many things, even unusual stuff.

I know about polymath and its uses, but I was searching for a word more general, that could be used in this phrase:

Ken Jennings is a very _______ man. He won 74 editions of the Jeopardy! Game Show.

As exemplified above, it would be more general even being used in the context of trivia knowledge.

While this question is a great question by itself, it has never been stated that the "person who is very knowledged of many things" actually enjoyed studying.

  • Possible duplicate of What term means "one who enjoys learning"? – m.a.a. May 10 '17 at 20:19
  • Can you use Renaissance Man? – Yosef Baskin May 10 '17 at 20:20
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    You could look up 'erudite' in a thesaurus and choose a synonym. – Edwin Ashworth May 10 '17 at 20:26
  • Renassaice Man is a term which fits more in the educational environment IMHO – Deltab May 10 '17 at 20:36
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    Ken Jennings apparently has encyclopedic knowledge of anything and everything. – aparente001 May 11 '17 at 7:05
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  1. sage

Ken Jennings is a very sage man. He won 74 editions of the Jeopardy! Game Show.

One of the meanings from dictionary.com:

wise, judicious, or prudent

  1. savvy

Ken Jennings is a very savvy man. He won 74 editions of the Jeopardy! Game Show.

One of the meanings from dictionary.com:

experienced, knowledgeable, and well-informed; shrewd

  1. astute

Ken Jennings is a very astute man. He won 74 editions of the Jeopardy! Game Show.

One of the meanings from dictionary.com:

clever; cunning; ingenious; shrewd

  1. adroit

Ken Jennings is a very adroit man. He won 74 editions of the Jeopardy! Game Show.

One of the meanings from dictionary.com:

cleverly skillful, resourceful, or ingenious

As already listed, eclectic and erudite would also work very well.

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erudite

characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly

from dictionary.com

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    I wouldn't call someone that was well versed in popular characters on TV shows, movie names particularly scholarly... erudite doesn't extend well to pop culture knowledge IMO.. it carries connotations of seriousness while, if I read the OP correctly, they want to emphasize that the person knows trivial things – Tom22 May 10 '17 at 20:48
  • @Tom22 thanks for having notice the "non-educational environment" I am trying to pass here – Deltab May 10 '17 at 21:00
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I would suggest

eclectic from Oxford living dictionaries əˈklektik/ adjective

1. deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

"her musical tastes are eclectic"

synonyms: wide-ranging, broad-based, extensive, comprehensive, encyclopedic;

2.

PHILOSOPHY

of, denoting, or belonging to a class of ancient philosophers who did not belong to or found any recognized school of thought but selected such doctrines as they wished from various schools.

noun

1. a person who derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

While the dictionary definition seems spot on, to my ear I would still single out "interests" or "knowledge" or "tastes" - Man of eclectic interests. Home decorated with an eclectic variety of styles.

For your sentence I might say:

Ken Jennings is a very _______ man a man with eclectic knowledge. He won 74 editions of the Jeopardy! Game Show.

edit/note

the definition above suggests "encyclopedic" as a synonym, which could be another fine answer however I do not think that quite emphasizes the ephemeral nature of Jeopardy trivia.

for example...

Jeopardy might have a category "Adele song titles" and a clue like "like a cannonball that fell off a ship" and an answer "what is 'Rolling in the Deep'

Things like the names of popular song titles are learned from living, not study, and I think the word eclectic, which emphasizes variety of sources and their natures works well.

  • Does not Ken Jennings is a very eclectic man works as well? – Deltab May 10 '17 at 21:01
  • Yes, you can simply use "very eclectic man" ... although without the reference to Jeopardy in the following sentence, people who do not know the definition of "eclectic" well might be unsure if he had eclectic tastes or prone to odd fashions etc. .. as eclectic is frequently used with 'tastes' these days. – Tom22 May 10 '17 at 21:05
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A little obscure but pansophic could work well in your context and is probably directly related to the idea of "polymath."

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansophism

Pansophism, in older usage often pansophy, is a concept of omniscience, meaning "all-knowing". In some monotheistic belief systems, a god is referred as the ultimate knowing spirit. Someone who is pansophical is someone who claims to have obtained omniscience.

It also has to do more specifically with pedagogic ideas of universal wisdom (pansophia), as it occurred in the educational system of universal knowledge proposed by John Amos Comenius, a Czech educator. "Comenius's second great interest was in furthering the Baconian attempt at the organization of all human knowledge. He became one of the leaders in the encyclopædic or pansophic movement of the seventeenth century" from the article on Comenius.

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Learned. He is a very learned man. (pronounced learn-ed)

having much knowledge; scholarly; erudite:

dictionary.com

  • A good suggestion. I've added a dictionary definition and link to it to improve the answer. – AndyT May 12 '17 at 9:54

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