Definition of empirical
1 : originating in or based on observation or experience empirical data
2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory an empirical basis for the theory
3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment empirical laws
4 : of or relating to empiricism
empiricallyplay \im-ˈpir-i-k(ə-)lē, em-\ adverb
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Examples of empirical in a Sentence
Eventually, access to electron microscopes and X-ray diffraction technology provided the necessary empirical evidence to test the hypotheses, and the jigsaw pieces began to fall into place. —Gail Nichols, Ceramics Monthly, February 2002
No religion, new or old, is subject to empirical proof, so what we have is a contest between faiths. —Harvey Cox, Atlantic, March 1999
They collected plenty of empirical data from their experiments.
guidelines for raising children that are based on empirical evidence
Recent Examples of empirical from the Web
However, fuzzy boundaries do not preclude identifiable clusterings; to insist otherwise is anti-empirical and unscientific.
However, as a growing body of empirical research suggests, powerful state actors can also facilitate and orchestrate collective protest for their own ends.
That’s one unfortunate byproduct of today’s technology: Complex questions, matters of infinite scope and great importance, are reduced to little bites of empirical pseudo-truths.
In sum, public health has not demonstrably improved because of Proposition 65, as evidenced by this study’s empirical examination.
Many scientists from around the world have been hard at work for years investigating models of cosmic inflation and comparing these predictions with empirical observations.
Some of the standard inflationary models have now been ruled out by precise empirical data, and this is part of the desirable process of using observation to thin out the set of viable models.
Our interpretation of the research about how the ACA changed labor supply is that the logic used by CBO in its earlier reports don’t really square with subsequent experience and empirical analysis.
The report said there was strong empirical evidence that globalization was also not actually the main cause of increased within-country income inequality; technology was.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'empirical'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
empirical Has Roots in Latin and Greek
When empirical first appeared as an adjective in English, it meant simply "in the manner of an empiric." An empiric was a member of an ancient sect of doctors who practiced medicine based exclusively on experience, as contrasted with those who relied on theory or philosophy. The name empiric derives from Latin empiricus, itself from Greek empeirikos ("experienced"). It ultimately traces back to the verb peiran, meaning "to try, attempt, or experiment."
EMPIRICAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of empirical for English Language Learners
: based on testing or experience
Medical Definition of empirical
2: originating in or based on observation or experiment much medical lore had had an empirical origin…centuries of trial-and-error gropings after remedies—R. H. Shryock
3: capable of being confirmed, verified, or disproved by observation or experiment empirical statements or laws
Seen and Heard
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