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heuristic

[hyoo-ris-tik or, often, yoo-] /hyʊˈrɪs tɪk or, often, yʊ-/
adjective
1.
serving to indicate or point out; stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation.
2.
encouraging a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error:
a heuristic teaching method.
3.
of, relating to, or based on experimentation, evaluation, or trial-and-error methods.
4.
Computers, Mathematics. pertaining to a trial-and-error method of problem solving used when an algorithmic approach is impractical.
noun
5.
a heuristic method of argument.
6.
the study of heuristic procedure.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; < New Latin heuristicus, equivalent to Greek heur(ískein) to find out, discover + Latin -isticus -istic
Related forms
heuristically, adverb
nonheuristic, adjective
unheuristic, adjective
unheuristically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for heuristics
  • Ideas and insights bubble up from some hidden layer of intuitions and heuristics.
  • Seems a couple of other posters have provided rough heuristics, interestingly from ones who may be pro-nuclear.
  • Maybe no amount of ratiocination can capture the messy heuristics of true devotion.
  • Social pressure, commitment heuristics etc could come into play here.
  • Even with heuristics, they are limited by having to know what attacks have been used before they can protect against them.
  • Non-rigorous heuristics work often enough to justify their use.
  • Do not depend on the shell's heuristics to locate the file.
  • If the file to be executed is not fully specified, heuristics are used to try to find the file.
  • These heuristics can create cognitive illusions of judgment.
British Dictionary definitions for heuristics

heuristics

/hjʊəˈrɪstɪks/
noun
1.
(functioning as sing) (maths, logic) a method or set of rules for solving problems other than by algorithm See also algorithm (sense 1), artificial intelligence

heuristic

/hjʊəˈrɪstɪk/
adjective
1.
helping to learn; guiding in discovery or investigation
2.
(of a method of teaching) allowing pupils to learn things for themselves
3.
  1. (maths, science, philosophy) using or obtained by exploration of possibilities rather than by following set rules
  2. (computing) denoting a rule of thumb for solving a problem without the exhaustive application of an algorithm: a heuristic solution
noun
4.
(pl) the science of heuristic procedure
Derived Forms
heuristically, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin heuristicus, from Greek heuriskein to discover
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for heuristics
n.

"study of heuristic methods," 1897, from heueristic (n.); also see -ics.

heuristic

adj.

"serving to discover or find out," 1821, irregular formation from Greek heuretikos "inventive," related to heuriskein "to find" (from PIE *were- "to find;" cf. Old Irish fuar "I have found") + -istic. As a noun, from 1860.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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