sci·​ence | \ˈsī-ən(t)s \

Definition of science 

1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding

2a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study the science of theology

b : something (such as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge have it down to a science

3a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method

b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science

4 : a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws cooking is both a science and an art

5 capitalized : christian science

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Synonyms for science


knowledge, lore, wisdom

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Examples of science in a Sentence

The Malay tapir, the largest of the world's four tapir species, remained largely invisible to science until recently. The other three species of these odd, endearing animals all live in South America. — Anthony King, New York Times, 2 June 2009 If there were any doubt, Golden's muckraking investigation—he is the Ida Tarbell of college admissions—reveals that almost every word uttered by representatives of the top colleges about the care and nuance and science of the much vaunted admissions process is bunk. — Michael Wolff, New York Times Book Review, 17 Sept. 2006 Of course, there is both corporate and government-sponsored grant money available for such initiatives in science and engineering. And scientists are used to working together in laboratories. But in the humanities it was different, said the deans. — David Laurence, Association of Departments of English Bulletin, Winter 2004 The journal Annales was started in 1929, by Bloch and Lucien Febvre, two friends conversant with the new sciences of sociology and geography, psychology and anthropology. — Stephen Kotkin, New Yorker, 29 Sept. 2003 The program encourages students to pursue a career in science. a list of terms commonly used in science a new branch of science advances in science and technology Students are required to take two sciences. students majoring in a science
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Recent Examples on the Web

Why do relatively few women work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics? Barbara Oakley, WSJ, "Why Do Women Shun STEM? It’s Complicated," 13 July 2018 McCarthy said the Army wanted to be near people with expertise in science and technology, especially systems engineering and software development. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, "Army to unveil details about new Futures Command in biggest reorganization in 45 years," 12 July 2018 Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Incredible video shows 4-mile iceberg breaking in Greenland," 12 July 2018 However, the board eventually voted to accept the billionaire’s gift, which will be used to renovate the high school and build a new science and technology wing as well as create a new technology curriculum. Kathy Boccella,, "Abington superintendent to retire after Stephen Schwarzman donation debacle," 9 July 2018 Star Trek inspired developments in science and technology, broke social barriers, and transported viewers around the globe to new adventures and uncharted frontiers. Phillip Molnar,, "Comic-Con 2018: Here's your Friday schedule," 6 July 2018 And while about 55 percent of trainees have some kind of associate or bachelor’s degree, very few have degrees in STEM — science, technology, engineering or math. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Two Seattle tech-training programs — why did one succeed, one fail?," 1 July 2018 For many first-time congressional candidates with science and technology backgrounds, fundraising can be a major obstacle. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Science candidates: High-tech smarts aren’t enough for defeated Obama aide," 28 June 2018 Gerardo Con Diaz is an assistant professor of science and technology studies at the University of California, Davis, and recipient of the 2017 Bernard S. Finn IEEE History Prize from the Society for the History of Technology. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'science.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of science

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for science

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin scientia, from scient-, sciens having knowledge, from present participle of scire to know; perhaps akin to Sanskrit chyati he cuts off, Latin scindere to split — more at shed

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More Definitions for science



English Language Learners Definition of science

: knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation

: a particular area of scientific study (such as biology, physics, or chemistry) : a particular branch of science

: a subject that is formally studied in a college, university, etc.


sci·​ence | \ˈsī-əns \

Kids Definition of science

1 : knowledge about the natural world that is based on facts learned through experiments and observation

2 : an area of study that deals with the natural world (as biology or physics)

3 : a subject that is formally studied the science of linguistics

4 : something that can be studied and learned Pitching is a science.


sci·​ence | \ˈsī-ən(t)s \

Medical Definition of science 

: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena

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More from Merriam-Webster on science

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for science

Spanish Central: Translation of science

Nglish: Translation of science for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of science for Arabic Speakers

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a private place of worship

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