from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to institutionalized education and scholarship, especially at a college or university.
  • adjective Of or relating to studies that rely on reading and involve abstract thought rather than being primarily practical or technical.
  • adjective Relating to scholarly performance.
  • adjective Of or relating to the conservative style of art promoted by an official academy, especially the Académie des Beaux Arts in France in the nineteenth century.
  • adjective Having little practical use or value, as by being overly detailed, unengaging, or theoretical.
  • adjective Having no important consequence or relevancy.
  • noun A faculty member or scholar at an institution of higher learning, such as a university.
  • noun One who has an academic viewpoint or a scholarly background.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • [capitalized] Pertaining to the Academy of Athens, or to Plato and his followers, from his having taught there: as, the Academic groves; the Academic school or philosophy.
  • Pertaining to an advanced institution of learning, as a college, a university, or an academy; relating to or connected with higher education: in this and the following senses often, and in the third generally, written academical: as, academic studies; an academical degree.
  • Pertaining to that department of a college or university which is concerned with classical, mathematical, and general literary studies, as distinguished from the professional and scientific departments; designed for general as opposed to special instruction.
  • [U. S.] Of or pertaining to an academy or association of adepts; marked by or belonging to the character or methods of such an academy; hence, conforming to set rules and traditions; speculative; formal; conventional: as, academical proceedings; an academical controversy; an academic figure (in art).
  • noun [capitalized] One who professed to adhere to the philosophy of Plato.
  • noun A student in a college or university: as, “a young academic,” Watts, Imp. of Mind.
  • noun A member of an academy or learned society; an academist or academician.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One holding the philosophy of Socrates and Plato; a Platonist.
  • noun A member of an academy, college, or university; an academician.
  • adjective Belonging to the school or philosophy of Plato.
  • adjective Belonging to an academy or other higher institution of learning; scholarly; literary or classical, in distinction from scientific.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective So scholarly as to be unaware of the outside world; lacking in worldliness.
  • adjective Subscribing to the architectural standards of Vitruvius.

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

  • adjective marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects
  • adjective hypothetical or theoretical and not expected to produce an immediate or practical result
  • adjective associated with academia or an academy
  • noun an educator who works at a college or university


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From both the Medieval Latin acadēmicus and the French académique, from Latin academia, from Ancient Greek ἀκαδημικός (akademeikos), from Ἀκαδημία (Akademia, "the location where Plato taught") (alternative form: Ἀκαδήμεια) ; compare academy.


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  • in the sense of hypothetical

    July 16, 2007

  • WeirdNet defines academia as 'the academic world', so taken together these two definitions tell us nothing.

    May 22, 2008