[sahy-uh n-tif-ik]


of or relating to science or the sciences: scientific studies.
occupied or concerned with science: scientific experts.
regulated by or conforming to the principles of exact science: scientific procedures.
systematic or accurate in the manner of an exact science.

Nearby words

  1. science museum,
  2. science park,
  3. scienter,
  4. scientia est potentia,
  5. sciential,
  6. scientific content analysis,
  7. scientific creationism,
  8. scientific empiricism,
  9. scientific method,
  10. scientific name

Origin of scientific

1580–90; < Medieval Latin scientificus, equivalent to scient- (see science) + -i - -i- + -ficus -fic

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

Examples from the Web for prescientific

  • The problem of the connection of body and soul is as insoluble, in its modern form, as it was in the prescientific ages.

  • But why keep alive and circulate as truth these animal legends of the prescientific ages?

    The Last Harvest|John Burroughs
  • In what we may term "prescientific days" people were in no uncertainty about the interpretation of dreams.

    Dream Psychology|Sigmund Freud

British Dictionary definitions for prescientific



of or relating to the period before the development of modern science and its methods



(prenominal) of, relating to, derived from, or used in sciencescientific equipment
(prenominal) occupied in sciencescientific manpower
conforming with the principles or methods used in sciencea scientific approach
Derived Formsscientifically, adverb

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 prescientific



1580s, from Middle French scientifique, from Medieval Latin scientificus "pertaining to science," from Latin scientia "knowledge" (see science) + -ficus "making" + facere "to make" (see factitious). Originally used to translate Greek epistemonikos "making knowledge" in Aristotle's "Ethics."

Sciential (mid-15c., "based on knowledge," from Latin scientialis) is the classical purists' choice for an adjective based on science. Scientic (1540s) and scient (late 15c.) also have been used. First record of scientific revolution is from 1803; scientific method is from 1854; scientific notation is from 1961. Related: Scientifical; scientifically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper