See more synonyms for nomothetic on
  1. giving or establishing laws; legislative.
  2. founded upon or derived from law.
  3. Psychology. pertaining to or involving the study or formulation of general or universal laws (opposed to idiographic).

Origin of nomothetic

From the Greek word nomothetikós, dating back to 1650–60. See nomo-, thetic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nomothetic

Historical Examples of nomothetic

British Dictionary definitions for nomothetic



  1. giving or enacting laws; legislative
  2. psychol of or relating to the search for general laws or traits, esp in personality theoryCompare idiographic

Word Origin for nomothetic

C17: from Greek nomothetikos, from nomothetēs lawgiver
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 nomothetic

"lawgiving, legislative; based on law," 1650s, from Greek nomothetikos "relating to legislation, legislative," from nomothetes "lawgiving," from nomos "usage, custom, law" (see numismatics) + thetes "one who puts, places, or establishes." Related: Nomothetical (1610s.)

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper