- adjective referring to a result that is obtained by observation or experiment rather than from theory and mathematical equations
- Based on, or depending upon observation, experience, or experimentation, as opposed to theory. Also spelled empiric.
- (written as Empirical)Of experience, evidence, observation or experiment as distinct from a priori or being based on reason only.
- adjective referring to research that is based on direct observation and experience, rather than on theory
Origin & History of “empirical”
Despite their formal resemblance, empirical and empire are completely unrelated. Empirical comes ultimately from the Greek adjective émpeiros ‘skilled or experienced in’, a compound formed from the prefix en- ‘in’ and peira ‘attempt, trial’ (a relative of English expert, peril, pirate, and repertory). From this were derived successively the noun empeiría ‘experience’ and empeirikós, which English acquired via Latin empiricus.