• synonyms


[soo-doh-sahy-uh ns]
  1. any of various methods, theories, or systems, as astrology, psychokinesis, or clairvoyance, considered as having no scientific basis.
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Origin of pseudoscience

First recorded in 1835–45; pseudo- + science
Related formspseu·do·sci·en·tif·ic [soo-doh-sahy-uh n-tif-ik] /ˌsu doʊˌsaɪ ənˈtɪf ɪk/, adjectivepseu·do·sci·en·tif·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·sci·en·tist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pseudo-science

Historical Examples

  • I shall begin, my friends, with the definition of a Pseudo-science.

    The Professor at the Breakfast Table

    Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

  • Along with the growth of real science there has gone on also a growth of pseudo-science.

  • What could this pseudo-science give them in exchange for such a revelation as that?

    My Path to Atheism

    Annie Besant

  • Astrology is the typical example of pseudo-science in medicine.


    James J. Walsh

  • But then Nordau's had been pseudo-science—three-quarters impertinence and conceit.

    Love's Pilgrimage

    Upton Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for pseudo-science


  1. a discipline or approach that pretends to be or has a close resemblance to science
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Derived Formspseudoscientific, adjective
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 pseudo-science


also pseudoscience, "a pretended or mistaken science," 1796 (the earliest reference is to alchemy), from pseudo- + science.

The term pseudo-science is hybrid, and therefore objectionable. Pseudognosy would be better etymology, but the unlearned might be apt to association with it the idea of a dog's nose, and thus, instead of taking "the eel of science by the tail," take the cur of science by the snout; so that all things considered we had better adopt the current term pseudo-sciences ["The Pseudo-Sciences," in "The St. James Magazine," January 1842]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pseudo-science in Culture



A system of theories or assertions about the natural world that claim or appear to be scientific but that, in fact, are not. For example, astronomy is a science, but astrology is generally viewed as a pseudoscience.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.