from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Derived by or designating the process of reasoning from facts or particulars to general principles or from effects to causes; inductive; empirical.
  • adj. Justified by appeal to experience.
  • adj. Knowable from experience.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Involving deduction of theories from facts.
  • adv. In a manner that deduces theories from facts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Characterizing that kind of reasoning which derives propositions from the observation of facts, or by generalizations from facts arrives at principles and definitions, or infers causes from effects. This is the reverse of a priori reasoning.
  • Applied to knowledge which is based upon or derived from facts through induction or experiment; inductive or empirical.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Literally, from the latter or subsequent; hence, in logic, from a consequent to its antecedent, or from an effect to its cause: used of reasoning which follows this order, formerly called demonstratio quia, or imperfect demonstration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. requiring evidence for validation or support
  • adv. derived from observed facts
  • adj. involving reasoning from facts or particulars to general principles or from effects to causes


Medieval Latin : Latin a, from + Latin posterior─ź, ablative of posterior, later.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from Latin (Wiktionary)


  • I say special training, meaning, that which takes up the subject scientifically, with a priori, and a posteriori evidence: -- of things not seen -- with homiletical and hermaneutical arrangement, and discussion in sermonizing.

    Unwritten History

  • But if the term proof or demonstration may be, as it often is, applied to a posteriori or inductive inference, by means of which knowledge that is not innate or intuitive is acquired by the exercise of reason, then it cannot fairly be denied that Catholic teaching virtually asserts that God's existence can be proved.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • But the difficulty is with regard to this preliminary admission, which if challenged -- as it is in fact challenged by Agnostics -- requires to be justified by recurring to the a posteriori argument, i.e. to the inference by way of causality from contingency to self-existence and thence by way of deduction to infinity.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • Well, Aries Tottle flourished supreme until the advent of one Hog, surnamed the 'Ettrick Shepherd', who preached an entirely different system, which he called the a posteriori or inductive.

    Mellonta Tauta

  • + The subjective a posteriori method, which, from an examination of the phenomena of consciousness builds up empirically, that is, inductively, conclusions based on those phenomena;

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman


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