Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who is guided by practical experience rather than precepts or theory.
  • n. An unqualified or dishonest practitioner; a charlatan.
  • adj. Empirical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. empirical
  • n. A member of a sect of ancient physicians who based their theories solely on experience.
  • n. Someone who is guided by empiricism; an empiricist.
  • n. Any unqualified or dishonest practitioner; a charlatan; a quack.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or founded upon, experiment or experience; depending upon the observation of phenomena; versed in experiments.
  • adj. Depending upon experience or observation alone, without due regard to science and theory; -- said especially of medical practice, remedies, etc.; wanting in science and deep insight.
  • n. One who follows an empirical method; one who relies upon practical experience.
  • n. One who confines himself to applying the results of mere experience or his own observation; especially, in medicine, one who deviates from the rules of science and regular practice; an ignorant and unlicensed pretender; a quack; a charlatan.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as empirical.
  • Versed in physical experimentation: as, an empiric alchemist.
  • Of or pertaining to the medical empirics.
  • n. One of an ancient sect of Greek physicians who maintained that practice or experience, and not theory, is the foundation of the science of medicine.
  • n. An experimenter in medical practice, destitute of adequate knowledge; an irregular or unscientific physician; more distinctively, a quack or charlatan.
  • n. In general, one who depends mainly upon experience or intuition; one whose procedure in any field of action or inquiry is too exclusively empirical.
  • n. = Syn.2. Mountebank, etc. See quack, n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relying on medical quackery
  • adj. derived from experiment and observation rather than theory

Etymologies

Latin empīricus, from Greek empeirikos, experienced, from empeiros, skilled : en-, in; see en-2 + peirān, to try (from peira, try, attempt; see per-3 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French empirique, from Latin empiricus, from Ancient Greek ἐμπειρικός ("experienced"), from ἐμπειρία (empeiria, "experience, mere experience or practice without knowledge, especially in medicine, empiricism"), from ἔμπειρος (empeiros, "experienced or practised in"), from ἐν (en, "in") + πεῖρα (peira, "a trial, experiment, attempt"). (Wiktionary)

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