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[ak-uh-dem-ik] /ˌæk əˈdɛm ɪk/
of or relating to a college, academy, school, or other educational institution, especially one for higher education:
academic requirements.
pertaining to areas of study that are not primarily vocational or applied, as the humanities or pure mathematics.
theoretical or hypothetical; not practical, realistic, or directly useful:
an academic question; an academic discussion of a matter already decided.
learned or scholarly but lacking in worldliness, common sense, or practicality.
conforming to set rules, standards, or traditions; conventional:
academic painting.
acquired by formal education, especially at a college or university:
academic preparation for the ministry.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to Academe or to the Platonic school of philosophy.
a student or teacher at a college or university.
a person who is academic in background, attitudes, methods, etc.:
He was by temperament an academic, concerned with books and the arts.
(initial capital letter) a person who supports or advocates the Platonic school of philosophy.
academics, the scholarly activities of a school or university, as classroom studies or research projects:
more emphasis on academics and less on athletics.
Origin of academic
1580-90; < Latin Acadēmicus < Greek Akadēmeikós. See academy, academe, -ic
Related forms
antiacademic, adjective, noun
interacademic, adjective
nonacademic, adjective, noun
proacademic, adjective
pseudoacademic, adjective
quasi-academic, adjective
semiacademic, adjective
subacademic, adjective
unacademic, adjective
2. humanistic, liberal. 4. theoretical. 5. See formal1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for academic
  • To avoid legal complications, companies often encourage students to work in exchange for academic credits from their college.
  • Native intelligence and academic achievement do lift many poor students into college.
  • Yet this manifesto is less fantastic than some books thick with academic learning.
  • Eating was a response to being in the cafeteria, and my primary consciousness was busy with socialization and academic learning.
  • The promotions and tenure proceedings of a university are fundamental to the preservation of academic freedom.
  • The government says it has no intention of restricting academic freedom.
  • The unpaid academic internship is open to college juniors and seniors.
  • His fear caused his academic performance to be barely average.
  • The article relies too much on academic citations.
  • Save trees and money; make your classroom safe for taking academic risks.
British Dictionary definitions for academic


belonging or relating to a place of learning, esp a college, university, or academy
of purely theoretical or speculative interest: an academic argument
excessively concerned with intellectual matters and lacking experience of practical affairs
(esp of a schoolchild) having an aptitude for study
conforming to set rules and traditions; conventional: an academic painter
relating to studies such as languages, philosophy, and pure science, rather than applied, technical, or professional studies
a member of a college or university
Derived Forms
academically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for academic

1580s, "relating to an academy," also "collegiate, scholarly," from Latin academicus "of the Academy," from academia (see academy). Meaning "theoretical, not practical, not leading to a decision" (such as university debates or classroom legal exercises) is from 1886. Academic freedom is attested from 1901. Related: Academically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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