1. derived from or guided by experience or experiment.
  2. depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.
  3. provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.


  1. derived from or relating to experiment and observation rather than theory
  2. (of medical treatment) based on practical experience rather than scientific proof
  3. philosophy
    1. (of knowledge) derived from experience rather than by logic from first principlesCompare a priori, a posteriori
    2. (of a proposition) subject, at least theoretically, to verificationCompare analytic (def. 4), synthetic (def. 4)
  4. of or relating to medical quackery


  1. statistics the posterior probability of an event derived on the basis of its observed frequency in a sampleCompare mathematical probability See also posterior probability

1560s, from empiric + -al (1).


  1. Relying on or derived from observation or experiment.
  2. Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment.
  3. Of or being a philosophy of medicine emphasizing practical experience and observation over scientific theory.

  1. Relying on or derived from observation or experiment.
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