: involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods
"There are two basic mechanisms involved in picking up new words. First there is the heuristic approach, in which the child is able to infer the meaning of a word when it is spoken by relying on external cues, such as following the gaze of the speaker or having the object described by the word pointed out to them..." Jennifer Ouellette, ScientificAmerican.com, August 6, 2013
About the Word:
Heuristic methods help solve problems (as when the evaluation of feedback improves performance in a heuristic computer program).
This investigative approach to problem solving is found in the ancestry of heuristic: the Greek heuriskein "to discover" shares a common ancestor with the Old Irish fuar, meaning "I have found."