1. of or relating to a college, academy, school, or other educational institution, especially one for higher education: academic requirements.
  2. pertaining to areas of study that are not primarily vocational or applied, as the humanities or pure mathematics.
  3. theoretical or hypothetical; not practical, realistic, or directly useful: an academic question; an academic discussion of a matter already decided.
  4. learned or scholarly but lacking in worldliness, common sense, or practicality.
  5. conforming to set rules, standards, or traditions; conventional: academic painting.
  6. acquired by formal education, especially at a college or university: academic preparation for the ministry.
  7. (initial capital letter) of or relating to Academe or to the Platonic school of philosophy.
  1. a student or teacher at a college or university.
  2. a person who is academic in background, attitudes, methods, etc.: He was by temperament an academic, concerned with books and the arts.
  3. (initial capital letter) a person who supports or advocates the Platonic school of philosophy.
  4. academics, the scholarly activities of a school or university, as classroom studies or research projects: more emphasis on academics and less on athletics.

Origin of academic

1580–90; < Latin Acadēmicus < Greek Akadēmeikós. See academy, academe, -ic
Related formsan·ti·ac·a·dem·ic, adjective, nounin·ter·ac·a·dem·ic, adjectivenon·ac·a·dem·ic, adjective, nounpro·ac·a·dem·ic, adjectivepseu·do·ac·a·dem·ic, adjectivequa·si-ac·a·dem·ic, adjectivesem·i·ac·a·dem·ic, adjectivesub·ac·a·dem·ic, adjectiveun·ac·a·dem·ic, adjective

Synonyms for academic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for quasi-academic


  1. belonging or relating to a place of learning, esp a college, university, or academy
  2. of purely theoretical or speculative interestan academic argument
  3. excessively concerned with intellectual matters and lacking experience of practical affairs
  4. (esp of a schoolchild) having an aptitude for study
  5. conforming to set rules and traditions; conventionalan academic painter
  6. relating to studies such as languages, philosophy, and pure science, rather than applied, technical, or professional studies
  1. a member of a college or university
Derived Formsacademically, 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 quasi-academic



1580s, "relating to an academy," also "collegiate, scholarly," from Latin academicus "of the Academy," from academia (see academy). Meaning "theoretical, not practical, not leading to a decision" (such as university debates or classroom legal exercises) is from 1886. Academic freedom is attested from 1901. Related: Academically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper