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
And the empirical record does not provide a lot of evidence that rising and dominant powers fight directly, or for the reasons that power transition theorists suggest.
Almstadt, the driving force behind the plan, picked out Chamakh and Park as high-risk signings that a more empirical approach to recruitment would have averted.
Empirical facts are true whether people accept them or not, and science offers our clearest view of them.
The Brexit fallout in Belfast and elsewhere in Northern Ireland should serve as a warning against the wider trend toward post-empirical, tribalist politics.
In January the EU lowered capital standards for infrastructure investments by as much as 40% but cited no major errors in the old risk model or any new empirical evidence to justify the change.
Perhaps more important, there are sound arguments for banning the box that transcend the empirical data.
Empirical studies suggest that, in general, losing is twice as painful as winning is enjoyable.
Granted, magazine and newspaper columns aren't empirical research.
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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