c.1600, from Latin empiricus "a physician guided by experience," from Greek empeirikos "experienced," from empeiria "experience," from empeiros "skilled," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + peira "trial, experiment," from PIE *per- "to try, risk." Originally a school of ancient physicians who based their practice on experience rather than theory. Earlier as a noun (1540s) in reference to the sect, and earliest (1520s) in a sense "quack doctor" which was in frequent use 16c.-19c.
empiric em·pir·ic (ěm-pēr'ĭk)
One who is guided by practical experience rather than precepts or theory.
An unqualified or dishonest practitioner; a charlatan.
Relating to a school of ancient Greek medicine in which a physician relied on experience and precedent in the observation and treatment of disease, and on analogical reasoning in discovering new diseases.