ac·​a·​dem·​ic | \ ˌa-kə-ˈde-mik How to pronounce academic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly academical \ ˌa-​kə-​ˈde-​mi-​kəl How to pronounce academic (audio) \

Definition of academic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or associated with an academy or school especially of higher learning the academic curriculum academic courses
b : of or relating to performance in courses of study academic excellence academic achievements
c : very learned but inexperienced in practical matters academic thinkers
d : based on formal study especially at an institution of higher learning her academic qualifications
2 : of or relating to literary or artistic rather than technical or professional studies a region that has both academic and vocational high schools
3a : theoretical, speculative a purely academic question
b : having no practical or useful significance
4 : conforming to the traditions or rules of a school (as of literature or art) or an official academy : conventional academic painting



Definition of academic (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a member (such as a professor) of an institution of learning (such as a university) Both of her parents are academics.
b : a person who is academic in background, outlook, or methods
2 academics plural, chiefly US : academic subjects : courses of study taken at a school or college He has no interest in academics.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for academic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of academic in a Sentence

Adjective She received awards for her academic achievements. I spent my academic career at one school. The board set tough academic standards for graduation. He was offered a teaching job and decided to return to academic life. His interest in sailing is purely academic. He's not a sailor himself. He's not very academic, but he's good with his hands. Noun The book appeals to academics and to the general public. He only cares about sports. He has no interest in academics.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But from his earliest youth his father, a disillusioned postal clerk, obsessively pressured him to achieve academic success. Fara Dabhoiwala, The New York Review of Books, 15 June 2021 So help your child avoid a summer slide—by shoring up not only their academic skills, but also their emotional well-being. Brian Platzer, The Atlantic, 15 June 2021 Researchers have found that frequent school absences impact students’ academic success and social and emotional wellbeing, and are linked to a higher probability of dropping out of high school. Amanda Blanco,, 14 June 2021 Students’ well-being needs to be prioritized to ensure their academic success moving forward, Hamada said. oregonlive, 13 June 2021 Primarily composed of West Side High School graduates, GAPS offers programs to promote academic and leadership skills. Carole Carlson,, 3 June 2021 Evers is a former state schools superintendent who for the sixth time is proposing overhauling the state's education funding formula to account more for poverty, which is a significant factor in students’ academic success. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 May 2021 Convoluted regulations have begun to recede for younger athletes who often risked infection for the social, emotional and academic benefits of competition. New York Times, 16 May 2021 Urtubey, who has been an educator for 11 years, works with elementary school students, individualizing lessons to match their academic, emotional and behavioral needs. Michelle L. Price, Star Tribune, 6 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun New personae are introduced in the Riviera sequence — a Scottish entrepreneur; a lascivious academic; Hunter’s too-perfect assistant, Jade — all of whom haunt a few paragraphs without becoming significant or interesting. Washington Post, 11 June 2021 Malcolm Jorgensen, an academic who is providing administrative assistance at one of Berlin’s six vaccination centers, is fully vaccinated as of this week. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 June 2021 Ron Cephas Jones plays an academic with an outsized sense of entitlement — another brand of misguided admirer. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2021 In March last year, the French government secured the release of an academic who had been held on national security charges, Roland Marchal, as part of a prisoner swap. Anna Schaverien, New York Times, 30 May 2021 And as one of the founders of Rezatec, a British geospatial analytics company, Maslin himself is a businessman as well as an academic. David Vetter, Forbes, 24 May 2021 Another academic, Boston College psychology professor Peter Gray, conducted a large-scale, demographically representative survey after schools closed last year, to see how children were faring. James R. Mason, National Review, 13 May 2021 That changes when an eccentric academic named Otto (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) shows up at the front door. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 13 May 2021 In a recent interview with Bulgarian state television, Anna-Maria Totomanova, an academic at the Department of Cyril and Methodius Studies at Sofia University, denounced the Czech archaeologists as charlatans. New York Times, 16 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'academic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of academic


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for academic


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French achademique, academique, borrowed from Latin Acadēmicus "of the school of Plato," borrowed from Greek Akadēmeikós, Akadēmaikós, from Akadḗmeia, a place where Plato taught + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at academy


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French academique, borrowed from Latin Acadēmicus, noun derivative of Acadēmicus, adjective — more at academic entry 1

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Learn More About academic

Time Traveler for academic

Time Traveler

The first known use of academic was in 1581

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Statistics for academic

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Academic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for academic


ac·​a·​dem·​ic | \ ˌa-kə-ˈde-mik How to pronounce academic (audio) \

Kids Definition of academic

1 : of or relating to schools and education
2 : having no practical importance Your question of whether it's better to fly or drive is purely academic since we're not going anywhere.

Other Words from academic

academically \ -​mi-​kə-​lē \ adverb How is she doing academically?


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