Definition of "empirical" []

  • Relying on or derived from observation or experiment: empirical results that supported the hypothesis. (adjective)
  • Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment: empirical laws. (adjective)
  • Guided by practical experience and not theory, especially in medicine. (adjective)
  • Derived from or relating to experiment and observation rather than theory (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • (of medical treatment) based on practical experience rather than scientific proof (adjective)
  • (of knowledge) derived from experience rather than by logic from first principles (adjective)
  • (of a proposition) subject, at least theoretically, to verification (adjective)
  • Of or relating to medical quackery (adjective)
  • The posterior probability of an event derived on the basis of its observed frequency in a sample (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "empirical" in a sentence
  • "To all knowledge obtained through the observation of facts and phenomena, the term empirical is properly applied."
  • "Do you consider this a valid example of what you call empirical evidence?"
  • "This is what we call empirical information on the ground."