Definitions

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

  • n. The view that experience, especially of the senses, is the only source of knowledge.
  • n. Employment of empirical methods, as in science.
  • n. An empirical conclusion.
  • n. The practice of medicine that disregards scientific theory and relies solely on practical experience.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pursuit of knowledge purely through experience, especially by means of observation and sometimes by experimentation.
  • n. A practice of medicine founded on mere experience, without the aid of science or a knowledge of principles; ignorant and unscientific practice; the method or practice of an empiric.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The method or practice of an empiric; pursuit of knowledge by observation and experiment.
  • n. Specifically, a practice of medicine founded on mere experience, without the aid of science or a knowledge of principles; ignorant and unscientific practice; charlatanry; quackery.
  • n. The philosophical theory which attributes the origin of all our knowledge to experience.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The character of being empirical; reliance on direct experience and observation rather than on theory; empirical method; especially, an undue reliance upon mere individual experience.
  • n. In medicine, the practice of empirics; hence, quackery; the pretension of an ignorant person to medical skill.
  • n. The metaphysical theory that all ideas are derived from sensuous experience—that is, that there are no innate or a priori conceptions.

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

  • n. the application of empirical methods in any art or science
  • n. (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience
  • n. medical practice and advice based on observation and experience in ignorance of scientific findings

Etymologies

from Ancient Greek ἐμπειρία (empeiria, "experience") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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