I am searching for a word to describe people who are very competent to the extent that an entire nation can depend on them.

I understood that my country needs ____ economists just like a human needs oxygen.

I want to imply that these types of economists are highly needed because they can take an entire country into progress, and because they are extremely capable and skilled. Also, I want to use a more sophisticated, literary word that would add artfulness to my writing. Any suggestions?

Also, I know that some people will strongly object it, but I will try, anyways. Can anyone suggest me a better analogy for the second part of my sentence (like...oxygen)?

  • 4
    Visionary? Genius? Heroic? // Woman needs man like a fish needs a bicycle? Aug 30, 2017 at 23:42
  • @Cerberus thank you for your suggestions. But regarding the second part, I need quite the contrary. A human, unlike a fish lacking any reasonable need of a bicycle, will die without oxygen. I want to highlight indispensability of good economists, not their inessentiality.
    – user241133
    Aug 30, 2017 at 23:57
  • As an aside, is 'artfulness' the best quality to aspire to with your writing? dictionary.com/browse/artfulness
    – Spagirl
    Aug 31, 2017 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


Transformative: causing a major change to something..., especially in a way that makes it ... better

A transformative economist would be one who precipitates a major change in how things are done. That would likely (though not necessarily) require creativity, in order to see new ways to do things. It would probably entail being very capable. It is usually used in a positive light.

For your simile, I would look for something that suggests that the economist recognizes and develops some hidden truth. A human needs oxygen to keep on going the way things have always been, but a seed needs water in order to grow into something new.

I understood that my country needs transformative economists just like a seed needs water.


You can use charismatic or pragmatic here.

Charismatic : exercising a compelling charm which inspires devotion in others


Pragmatic : dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

As far as as the second part is concerned, I would have framed the sentence something like this:

I understood that my country needed pragmatic/charismatic economists just like breath for soul or coal for fire.


I don't know how you assess words’ drama (dramaticness? dramaticality?) and/or artfulness, and this might not convey the leadership qualities you seem to want, but a somewhat sophisticated, literary word that could be used to mean extremely capable and skilled is sage:


  1. wise through reflection and experience
  2. proceeding from or characterized by wisdom, prudence, and good judgment
    • sage advice
Oxford Dictionaries
    Having, showing, or indicating profound wisdom.   ‘they nodded in agreement with these sage remarks’
American Heritage Dictionary
  1. Having or exhibiting wisdom and calm judgment.
  2. Proceeding from or marked by wisdom and calm judgment: sage advice.
Collins English Dictionary
    Sage means wise and knowledgeable, especially as the result of a lot of experience.   He was famous for his sage advice to younger painters.

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