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[em-pir-ik] /ɛmˈpɪr ɪk/
a person who follows an empirical method.
a quack; charlatan.
Origin of empiric
1520-30; < Latin empīricus < Greek empeirikós experienced, equivalent to em- em-2 + peir- (stem of peirân to attempt) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
antiempiric, noun, adjective
nonempiric, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for empirics
Historical Examples
  • The empirics declare that they know nothing; because, as soon as looked at, they may change.

    The Life of Cicero Anthony Trollope
  • Steele has transmitted to us some capital anecdotes of the empirics of his day.

    A Book about Doctors John Cordy Jeaffreson
  • Here is no lack of votaries of the practical, of experimentalists, of empirics.

    Views and Reviews Henry James
  • They had accomplished much, but it was the work mainly of empirics.

    Inventions in the Century William Henry Doolittle
  • And give they not the guerdon and the honour they deny me, to the empirics that slaughter them?

  • And give they not the guerdon and the honour they deny me to the empirics that slaughter them?

  • He held his peace till the empirics had departed and the dwarf had covered the patient and shaken his pillows.

    The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci

    Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky
  • There are many thousands of persons who believe this stuff, and endanger their lives and health by trusting to these empirics.

    The Witches of New York Q. K. Philander Doesticks
  • Everything was conjecture, and that which rested on the evidence of facts was by the empirics received with enthusiasm.

  • We are mere operatives, empirics, and egotists, until we learn to think in letters instead of figures.

    The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table Oliver Wendell Holmes
British Dictionary definitions for empirics


a person who relies on empirical methods
a medical quack; charlatan
a variant of empirical
Word Origin
C16: from Latin empīricus, from Greek empeirikos practised, from peiran to attempt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for empirics



c.1600, from Latin empiricus "a physician guided by experience," from Greek empeirikos "experienced," from empeiria "experience," from empeiros "skilled," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + peira "trial, experiment," from PIE *per- "to try, risk." Originally a school of ancient physicians who based their practice on experience rather than theory. Earlier as a noun (1540s) in reference to the sect, and earliest (1520s) in a sense "quack doctor" which was in frequent use 16c.-19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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empirics in Medicine

empiric em·pir·ic (ěm-pēr'ĭk)

  1. One who is guided by practical experience rather than precepts or theory.

  2. An unqualified or dishonest practitioner; a charlatan.

  1. Empirical.

  2. Relating to a school of ancient Greek medicine in which a physician relied on experience and precedent in the observation and treatment of disease, and on analogical reasoning in discovering new diseases.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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