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.
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Examples from the web for empirically
  • Such long run impacts are not, however, well established empirically.
  • Macroevolution has never ever been empirically observed or verified.
  • empirically supported therapies seek to bring the power of research-proven techniques to the therapist's office.
  • It would be interesting to see whether this impression could be confirmed empirically.
  • These high blown conclusions are not empirically justified, so there's no point in picking them apart.
  • Doctors could then be protected from negligence claims by showing they used an empirically proven course of treatment.
  • What is more is that social psychologists are now empirically testing his theories and finding them aligning with reality.
  • He finds it vague and its supposed pedagogical benefits empirically suspect.
  • It is not a likely event, otherwise the clear relationship empirically observed wouldn't happen.
  • Our best models are either doubtfully applicable to our unique economic situation or are weakly validated empirically.
British Dictionary definitions for empirically


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
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Word Origin and History for empirically



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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empirically 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.
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empirically in Science
Relying on or derived from observation or experiment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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