Definition of nomothetic
: relating to, involving, or dealing with abstract, general, or universal statements or laws
Did You Know?
Nomothetic is often contrasted with "idiographic," a word meaning "relating to or dealing with something concrete, individual, or unique." Where "idiographic" points to the specific and unique, "nomothetic" points to the general and consistent. The immediate Greek parent of nomothetic is a word meaning "of legislation"; the word has its roots in nomos, meaning "law," and -thetēs, meaning "one who establishes." "Nomos" has played a part in the histories of words as varied as "metronome," "autonomous," and "Deuteronomy." The English contributions of "-thetēs" are meager ("nomothetic" is the only one in our Collegiate dictionary), but "-thetēs" itself comes from tithenai, meaning "to put," and "tithenai" is the ancestor of many common words ending in "thesis"-"hypothesis," "parenthesis," "prosthesis," "synthesis," and "thesis" itself-as well as "theme," "epithet," and "apothecary."
Origin and Etymology of nomothetic
Greek nomothetikos of legislation, from nomothetēs lawgiver, from nomos law + -thetēs one who establishes, from tithenai to put — more at do
First Known Use: 1904
Learn More about nomothetic
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up nomothetic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).