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 formsan·ti·em·pir·ic, noun, adjectivenon·em·pir·ic, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for empiric

Contemporary Examples of empiric

  • The count considered Lincoln an “honest man of nature, perhaps an empiric, doctoring with innocent juices from herbs.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    President Lincoln’s Twitter Mole

    Kevin Peraino

    October 26, 2013

Historical Examples of empiric

British Dictionary definitions for empiric



a person who relies on empirical methods
a medical quack; charlatan


a variant of empirical

Word Origin for empiric

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

Word Origin and History for empiric

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

empiric in Medicine




One who is guided by practical experience rather than precepts or theory.
An unqualified or dishonest practitioner; a charlatan.


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.