adjective \-mi-kəl\
variants: or less commonly


Definition of academic

  1. 1a :  of, relating to, or associated with an academy or school especially of higher learning the academic curriculum academic coursesb :  of or relating to performance in courses of study academic excellence academic achievementsc :  very learned but inexperienced in practical matters academic thinkersd :  based on formal study especially at an institution of higher learning her academic qualifications

  2. 2 :  of or relating to literary or artistic rather than technical or professional studies a region that has both academic and vocational high schools

  3. 3a :  theoretical, speculative a purely academic questionb :  having no practical or useful significance

  4. 4 :  conforming to the traditions or rules of a school (as of literature or art) or an official academy :  conventional academic painting


\-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb an academically gifted student

Examples of academic in a sentence

  1. The book appeals to academics and to the general public.

  2. He only cares about sports. He has no interest in academics.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1-ic — more at academy

First Known Use: 1581



noun ac·a·dem·ic \ˌa-kə-ˈde-mik\

Definition of academic

  1. 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. 2 academics plural, chiefly US :  academic subjects :  courses of study taken at a school or college He has no interest in academics.

Examples of academic in a sentence

  1. She received awards for her academic achievements.

  2. I spent my academic career at one school.

  3. The board set tough academic standards for graduation.

  4. He was offered a teaching job and decided to return to academic life.

  5. His interest in sailing is purely academic. He's not a sailor himself.

  6. He's not very academic, but he's good with his hands.

Origin and Etymology of academic

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

First Known Use: 1587

ACADEMIC Defined for Kids


adjective ac·a·dem·ic \ˌa-kə-ˈde-mik\

Definition of academic for Students

  1. 1 :  of or relating to schools and education

  2. 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.


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

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up academic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trip made at another's expense

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