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 empirics

Historical Examples of empirics

  • 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.

  • 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?

British Dictionary definitions for empirics



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 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

empirics 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.