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[soo-doh-sahy-uh ns] /ˌsu doʊˈsaɪ əns/
any of various methods, theories, or systems, as astrology, psychokinesis, or clairvoyance, considered as having no scientific basis.
Origin of pseudoscience
First recorded in 1835-45; pseudo- + science
Related forms
[soo-doh-sahy-uh n-tif-ik] /ˌsu doʊˌsaɪ ənˈtɪf ɪk/ (Show IPA),
pseudoscientifically, adverb
pseudoscientist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pseudo-science
Historical Examples
  • I shall begin, my friends, with the definition of a pseudo-science.

    The Professor at the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)
  • Along with the growth of real science there has gone on also a growth of pseudo-science.

  • What could this pseudo-science give them in exchange for such a revelation as that?

    My Path to Atheism Annie Besant
  • Astrology is the typical example of pseudo-science in medicine.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • But then Nordau's had been pseudo-science—three-quarters impertinence and conceit.

    Love's Pilgrimage Upton Sinclair
  • In Spenser's day, belief in astrology, the pseudo-science of the influence of the stars on human lives, was still common.

  • He was a believer in astrology, and laid this pseudo-science also under contribution in the interpretation of Holy Writ.

  • Rome is credited with having received its pseudo-science of omens from Etruria, but whence came it there?

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • The most esteemed branch of the art however was Alchemy, a pseudo-science which ultimately took three forms.

    Scientific Studies Henry Dircks
  • The pseudo-science, which also dealt with the stars, proves nothing against the inductive spirit of the Italians of that day.

British Dictionary definitions for pseudo-science


a discipline or approach that pretends to be or has a close resemblance to science
Derived Forms
pseudoscientific, adjective
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 pseudo-science

also pseudoscience, "a pretended or mistaken science," 1796 (the earliest reference is to alchemy), from pseudo- + science.

The term pseudo-science is hybrid, and therefore objectionable. Pseudognosy would be better etymology, but the unlearned might be apt to association with it the idea of a dog's nose, and thus, instead of taking "the eel of science by the tail," take the cur of science by the snout; so that all things considered we had better adopt the current term pseudo-sciences ["The Pseudo-Sciences," in "The St. James Magazine," January 1842]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pseudo-science in Culture
pseudoscience [(sooh-doh-seye-uhns)]

A system of theories or assertions about the natural world that claim or appear to be scientific but that, in fact, are not. For example, astronomy is a science, but astrology is generally viewed as a pseudoscience.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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