[ sahy-uhns ]
See synonyms for science on
  1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.

  2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

  1. any of the branches of natural or physical science.

  2. systematized knowledge in general.

  3. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.

  4. a particular branch of knowledge.

  5. skill, especially reflecting a precise application of facts or principles; proficiency.

Origin of science

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin scientia “knowledge,” equivalent to scient- (stem of sciēns “knowing,” present participle of scīre “to know”) + -ia -ia

Other words for science

Other words from science

  • an·ti·sci·ence, adjective, noun
  • in·ter·sci·ence, adjective
  • non·sci·ence, noun
  • pro·sci·ence, adjective
  • sub·sci·ence, noun

Words that may be confused with science

Words Nearby science Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use science in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for science


/ (ˈsaɪəns) /

  1. the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms

  2. the knowledge so obtained or the practice of obtaining it

  1. any particular branch of this knowledge: the pure and applied sciences

  2. any body of knowledge organized in a systematic manner

  3. skill or technique

  4. archaic knowledge

Origin of science

C14: via Old French from Latin scientia knowledge, from scīre to know

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

Scientific definitions for science


[ əns ]

  1. The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation.♦ Science makes use of the scientific method, which includes the careful observation of natural phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis, the conducting of one or more experiments to test the hypothesis, and the drawing of a conclusion that confirms or modifies the hypothesis. See Note at hypothesis.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.