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[sahy-uh n-tif-ik] /ˌsaɪ ənˈtɪf ɪk/
of or relating to science or the sciences:
scientific studies.
occupied or concerned with science:
scientific experts.
regulated by or conforming to the principles of exact science:
scientific procedures.
systematic or accurate in the manner of an exact science.
Origin of scientific
1580-90; < Medieval Latin scientificus, equivalent to scient- (see science) + -i - -i- + -ficus -fic
Related forms
scientifically, adverb
antiscientific, adjective
antiscientifically, adverb
counterscientific, adjective
nonscientific, adjective
nonscientifically, adverb
prescientific, adjective
proscientific, adjective
quasi-scientific, adjective
quasi-scientifically, adverb
superscientific, adjective
superscientifically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scientific
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "And it may also be the scientific error of the day after to-morrow," I remarked.

    The Jucklins Opie Read
  • Beyond these scientific rules lies the vague realm of the jury.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • From the scientific standpoint, the act of hypnotism had been accomplished.

    The Third Degree Charles Klein and Arthur Hornblow
  • I refer to the scientific experiments of Michelson and Morley of America.

    Aether and Gravitation William George Hooper
  • Conclusions arrived at from scientific observations, II, 708.

    Farthest North Fridtjof Nansen
British Dictionary definitions for scientific


(prenominal) of, relating to, derived from, or used in science: scientific equipment
(prenominal) occupied in science: scientific manpower
conforming with the principles or methods used in science: a scientific approach
Derived Forms
scientifically, 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 scientific

1580s, from Middle French scientifique, from Medieval Latin scientificus "pertaining to science," from Latin scientia "knowledge" (see science) + -ficus "making" + facere "to make" (see factitious). Originally used to translate Greek epistemonikos "making knowledge" in Aristotle's "Ethics."

Sciential (mid-15c., "based on knowledge," from Latin scientialis) is the classical purists' choice for an adjective based on science. Scientic (1540s) and scient (late 15c.) also have been used. First record of scientific revolution is from 1803; scientific method is from 1854; scientific notation is from 1961. Related: Scientifical; scientifically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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