Definition of empirical
- empirical data
- an empirical basis for the theory
- empirical laws
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They collected plenty of empirical data from their experiments.
guidelines for raising children that are based on empirical evidence
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.
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."
: based on testing or experience
What made you want to look up empirical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
subject to rapid or unexpected change
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