SAT vocabulary: empirical

What does empirical mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick vocab quiz for the word empirical

First, before you read about the word empirical, try this quick vocab quiz:

empirical most nearly means

(A) large
(B) extant
(C) confirmable
(D) hard
(E) distant

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word empirical.

Part of Speech of empirical

empirical is an ADJECTIVE.

Pronunciation empirical

Here’s how to pronounce empirical:

IPA: /ɛm.’piɹ.ɪ.kəl/

Glossary-style: [em-PEER-ih-kul ]

Definition of empirical

empirical means: derived from or guided by experience or experiment (Ex: empirical evidence).

Explain more about empirical, please

Empirical evidence is evidence that has been obtained through observation, experimentation, or experience. Sure, that sounds logical you’re thinking. What other kind of evidence or information is there? Well, some people rely on the often-unreliable method of… guessing. Or intuition. For example, sometimes people attribute their success to a good-luck charm, such as a favorite pair of socks. Or they say, “I got a 2380 on my SAT because I memorized lots of vocabulary!” How do people know this? It is often the case that the utterers of these statements in fact based their statements not on empirical evidence but on intuition, suspicion, or more vaguely, a general hope for things to be the way they want them to be.

And when we make decisions, we rely on a variety of resources and information to make the best choice possible. Sometimes we base our decisions on past experiences; other times, we use our intuition or “gut feelings” to decide what to do. If we base our decisions information that has been carefully collected and measured, then we are using empirical data. empirical data or evidence is different from theoretical or intuitive information, which is derived from guesses or other “non-scientific” methods of obtaining information.

So, empirical simply means based on evidence as opposed to based on a theory, a guess, a “gut-feeling”, or the like.

Example of empirical

Here’s the word empirical used in a sentence:

Scientists are trained to gather empirical evidence to support their theories, not common sense.

If you’ve read this far, you’re a great student and will learn vocabulary quickly. You may now check your answer.

Answer to the quick vocab quiz

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