1580s, "one who cultivates one of the fine arts," from French artiste (14c.), from Italian artista, from Medieval Latin artista, from Latin ars (see art (n.)).
Originally especially of the arts presided over by the Muses (history, poetry, comedy, tragedy, music, dancing, astronomy), but also used 17c. for "one skilled in any art or craft" (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks). Since mid-18c. especially of "one who practices the arts of design or visual arts."
"person versed in or devoted to science," 1834, a hybrid coined from Latin scientia (see science) by the Rev. William Whewell, English polymath, by analogy with artist, in the same paragraph in which he coined physicist (q.v.). There is an isolated use of sciencist from 1778, and scientician was used in 1885. Scientaster "petty or inferior scientist" is by 1899 (see -aster).
"one skillful in some art not considered one of the fine arts," 1819 in English, from 1804 as a French word, from French artiste; a reborrowing of artist, at first in a foreign context, later used to fill the gap after the sense of artist had become limited toward the visual arts and especially painting.
Artiste: an admirable word (albeit somewhat Frenchified) of late applied, with nice discrimination, to every species of exhibitor, from a rope-dancer down to a mere painter or sculptor. On looking into little Entick (my great authority in these matters), I find we have already the word artist; but with stupid English perversity, we have hitherto used that in a much more restricted sense than its newly-imported rival, which it is becoming the excellent fashion to adopt. ["Paul Pry's Journal of a Residence at Little-Pedlington," Philadelphia, 1836]
It forms all or part of: adorn; alarm; aristarchy; aristo-; aristocracy; arm (n.1) "upper limb of the body;" arm (n.2) "weapon;" armada; armadillo; armament; armature; armilla; armistice; armoire; armor; armory; army; art (n.) "skill as a result of learning or practice;" arthralgia; arthritis; arthro-; arthropod; arthroscopy; article; articulate; artifact; artifice; artisan; artist; coordination; disarm; gendarme; harmony; inert; inertia; inordinate; ordain; order; ordinal; ordinance; ordinary; ordinate; ordnance; ornament; ornate; primordial; subordinate; suborn.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit irmah "arm," rtih "manner, mode;" Armenian arnam "make," armukn "elbow;" Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare," arthron "a joint;" Latin ars (stem art-) "art, skill, craft," armus "shoulder," artus "joint," arma "weapons;" Old Prussian irmo "arm;" German art "manner, mode."
by 1809, "of, pertaining to, or produced by Phidias," the most eminent artist of Athens at the height of her glory, 5c. B.C.E.