empiric

noun

em·​pir·​ic im-ˈpir-ik How to pronounce empiric (audio)
em-
1
2
: one who relies on practical experience

Word History

Etymology

Middle English emperiqe "physician in ancient Greece and Rome who held that treatment should be based on observation rather than theory," borrowed from Latin empīricus, empēricus, borrowed from Greek empeirikós, derivative of empeirikós, adjective, "based on observation (of medical treatment), experienced," from empeiría "experience, practice" (derivative of émpeiros "experienced, practiced," from em- en- entry 2 + -peiros, derivative of peîra "attempt, trial, test") + -ikos -ic entry 1; peîra going back to *per-i̯a, derivative of a verbal base *per- perhaps going back to Indo-European *per- "cross, pass" — more at fare entry 1

Note: See note at peril entry 1

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of empiric was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near empiric

Cite this Entry

“Empiric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empiric. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition

empiric

noun
em·​pir·​ic im-ˈpir-ik, em- How to pronounce empiric (audio)
1
a
: a member of an ancient sect of physicians who based their practice on experience alone disregarding all theoretical and philosophic considerations
b
: quack
2

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