1. of or relating to science or the sciences: scientific studies.
  2. occupied or concerned with science: scientific experts.
  3. regulated by or conforming to the principles of exact science: scientific procedures.
  4. systematic or accurate in the manner of an exact science.


  1. opposed to the principles, methods, or aims of science


  1. (prenominal) of, relating to, derived from, or used in sciencescientific equipment
  2. (prenominal) occupied in sciencescientific manpower
  3. conforming with the principles or methods used in sciencea scientific approach

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.

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