empirical

[ em-pir-i-kuhl ]
/ ɛmˈpɪr ɪ kəl /

adjective

derived from or guided by experience or experiment.
depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.
provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.

Nearby words

  1. empire state building,
  2. empire state of the south,
  3. empire-builder,
  4. empiric,
  5. empiric risk,
  6. empirical formula,
  7. empirically,
  8. empiricism,
  9. empiricist,
  10. empirin

Origin of empirical

First recorded in 1560–70; empiric + -al1

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for empirical


British Dictionary definitions for empirical

empirical

/ (ɛmˈpɪrɪkəl) /

adjective

derived from or relating to experiment and observation rather than theory
(of medical treatment) based on practical experience rather than scientific proof
philosophy
  1. (of knowledge) derived from experience rather than by logic from first principlesCompare a priori, a posteriori
  2. (of a proposition) subject, at least theoretically, to verificationCompare analytic (def. 4), synthetic (def. 4)
of or relating to medical quackery

noun

statistics the posterior probability of an event derived on the basis of its observed frequency in a sampleCompare mathematical probability See also posterior probability
Derived Formsempirically, adverbempiricalness, noun

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 empirical

empirical

adj.

1560s, from empiric + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for empirical

empirical

[ ĕm-pîrĭ-kəl ]

adj.

Relying on or derived from observation or experiment.
Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment.
Of or being a philosophy of medicine emphasizing practical experience and observation over scientific theory.
Related formsem•piri•cal•ly adv.


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

Science definitions for empirical

empirical

[ ĕm-pîrĭ-kəl ]

Relying on or derived from observation or experiment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.