9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[em-pir-i-kuh l] /ɛmˈpɪr ɪ kəl/
derived from or guided by experience or experiment.
depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.
provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.
Origin of empirical
1560-70; empiric + -al1
Related forms
empirically, adverb
empiricalness, noun
antiempirical, adjective
antiempirically, adverb
nonempirical, adjective
nonempirically, adverb
overempirical, adjective
overempirically, adverb
semiempirical, adjective
semiempirically, adverb
unempirical, adjective
unempirically, adverb
1, 2. practical, firsthand, pragmatic.
1, 2. secondhand, theoretical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for empirical
  • He writes in a hardy, unpretentious style that is more empirical than introspective.
  • The empirical evidence that global warming does exist is blinding.
  • There's no empirical study that's ever been done that shows that punitive damages have any constructive function.
  • Anyone who eats a fruit, vegetable, or animal that is wild is putting empirical evidence of evolution into his or her mouth.
  • Collect your own empirical evidence.
  • Both empirical analysis show the same evident results.
  • Before computers, forecasters had to rely on empirical methods and experience to predict the weather.
  • He sought a via media between the purely empirical method and the deductive method.
  • Science, after all, is an empirical endeavor that traffics in probabilities.
  • Of more concern was the way the existing empirical evidence often contradicted his theory and offered it little direct support.
British Dictionary definitions for empirical


derived from or relating to experiment and observation rather than theory
(of medical treatment) based on practical experience rather than scientific proof
  1. (of knowledge) derived from experience rather than by logic from first principles Compare a priori, a posteriori
  2. (of a proposition) subject, at least theoretically, to verification Compare analytic (sense 4), synthetic (sense 4)
of or relating to medical quackery
(statistics) the posterior probability of an event derived on the basis of its observed frequency in a sample Compare mathematical probability See also posterior probability
Derived Forms
empirically, adverb
empiricalness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for empirical

1560s, from empiric + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
empirical in Medicine

empirical em·pir·i·cal (ěm-pēr'ĭ-kəl)

  1. Relying on or derived from observation or experiment.

  2. Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment.

  3. Of or being a philosophy of medicine emphasizing practical experience and observation over scientific theory.

em·pir'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
empirical in Science
Relying on or derived from observation or experiment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for empirical

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for empirical

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with empirical

Nearby words for empirical