Meaning of heuristic in English:


Pronunciation /ˌhjʊ(ə)ˈrɪstɪk/

Translate heuristic into Spanish


  • 1Enabling someone to discover or learn something for themselves.

    ‘a ‘hands-on’ or interactive heuristic approach to learning’
    • ‘This work will follow two complementary approaches, heuristic and machine learning.’
    • ‘Emotions, he says, are ‘our main heuristic guide to discovering moral truths’.’
    • ‘When we use the term ‘discourses’ we refer to a heuristic device which enables us to talk about configurations of metaphors, analogies and connotations.’
    • ‘On the other hand, when I was reading ‘Process and Reality’, I was puzzled by what its epistemological implications were supposed to be, given its overall heuristic intent.’
    • ‘It is probably true that qualitative methods, heuristic approaches, and phenomenological research are more common in education than in the physical and biological sciences.’
    • ‘Although spatial intuition or observation remains the source of the axioms of Euclidean geometry, in Hilbert's writing the role of intuition and observation is explicitly limited to motivation and is heuristic.’
    • ‘But I do agree that as a rhetorical technique, it can have great impact and as a cognitive tool it may have a great heuristic value.’
    • ‘They're heuristic, providing a medical shorthand, but a shorthand which only goes so far.’
    • ‘For any method, or any explanatory theory, to be useful (i.e. have heuristic value) it must be internally consistent and relevant.’
    • ‘However, this historical fallacy does not, perhaps, detract from its heuristic usefulness.’
    • ‘But historians will be uncomfortable with Gleason's frequent recourse to terms like the frontier, corporate capitalism, and industrialization as explanatory or heuristic devices.’
    • ‘The anti-Darwinist seems to believe that a scientific theory should elicit that sort of faith, whereas the Darwinist requires only that we come to see that theory's social and heuristic usefulness.’
    • ‘Where he does develop the first attitude, here and elsewhere in his theology, Christian doctrines are heuristic devices, to be held ‘in principle.’’
    • ‘I also found this study loaded with useful heuristic encapsulations, and often entertaining in its wide-ranging choices for analysis, from early cinema to the present.’
    • ‘The larger issue here (and it's an issue which arises from the whole genre of literary biography as it is often currently practised) is the heuristic poverty of biographical explanations of works of art.’
    • ‘We conclude that condition is a useful heuristic concept in evolutionary ecology, but its practical value may be limited by the fact that it cannot be measured directly.’
    • ‘Yet regardless of such formalist elisions, this essay remains enlightening precisely for its heuristic clarity.’
    • ‘The appeal of this model lies in its simplicity, logic and heuristic potential (ability to aid discovery).’
    • ‘The heuristic value of a multifactorial approach, illustrated here, should be broadly applicable to studies assessing the quantitative and qualitative implications of various forms of comorbidity.’
    • ‘However, the deity's heuristic role in prompting scientific thought should not be confused with its validation.’
    informative, instructional, informational, illuminating, enlightening, revealing, explanatory, telling
    1. 1.1Computing Proceeding to a solution by trial and error or by rules that are only loosely defined.
      ‘Using its rule base, SA performs a wide range of heuristic tests on email headers and body text to identify and score spam.’
      • ‘Other iterative heuristic rules that have been commonly used include the prioritization of sites by the rarity of the surrogates present in them.’
      • ‘His research interests include evolutionary computation, heuristic optimization, policy and strategic analysis, and social algorithms.’
      • ‘Scam Sensor uses a proprietary heuristic algorithm to identify fraudulent e-mails.’
      • ‘The tools include a combination of heuristic rules-based scanning, white and black lists, content filtering and SMTP-based authentication to keep out unwanted mail.’


  • 1A heuristic process or method.

    ‘It should be pointed out that this process is a heuristic.’
    • ‘Here are the heuristics we use in determining what level someone is at.’
    • ‘Like everything else in sociology, it's a fuzzy heuristic.’
    • ‘Well, it's a standard heuristic for checking search engines - it's like looking up swear words to check how good a new dictionary is.’
    • ‘Presumably this is to get around some of the heuristics used by spam filters, such as checking that a message isn't largely HTML, appears to contain actual content, etc.’
    • ‘Managerial actions are based on decision-making heuristics triggered and altered by stimuli such as innovations.’
    • ‘Possible explanations for that finding can be drawn from both the heuristics and biases and the ecological schools of thought.’
    • ‘As a consequence, the heuristics used are not necessarily the best available.’
    • ‘Over time, the behaviorists have compiled a long list of biases and heuristics.’
    • ‘Social proof is a heuristic by which we ‘view a behavior as correct in a given situation to the degree to which we see others performing it.’’
    • ‘The principal heuristic used is complementarity.’
    • ‘I am optimistic that the articles will serve as a heuristic, or learning tool, for teachers who want to become more effective in their classrooms through reflection.’
    • ‘A heuristic, as defined by Anderson, is a rule of thumb that often (but not always) leads to a solution.’
    • ‘This heuristic is currently the most commonly used for delimiting sessions.’
    • ‘The connectedness requirement is, of course, merely a heuristic that might not result in the intended model.’
    • ‘The system uses blacklists, heuristics, and NetIQ filters to identify spam.’
    • ‘While cognitive heuristics allow one to economize on search costs, they also lead to errors.’
    • ‘In practice we use many heuristics, or rules of thumb, to guide our thinking.’
    • ‘Behavioural scientists suggest that in practice decision makers utilize mental shortcuts known as heuristics.’
    • ‘For example, if one confronts a novel problem that is ill-defined, then general problem-solving heuristics may be very useful.’
    1. 1.1heuristicsusually treated as singular The study and use of heuristic techniques.
      ‘An example is the use in military affairs of an ancient enough science, heuristics.’
      • ‘A serious problem with ‘mathematical idea analysis’ is that heuristics cannot distinguish true results from false ones.’
      • ‘This is an application of heuristics, learning from practical experience.’
      • ‘It is not the only viable path of knowledge available to you as a human being (logic, intuition, heuristics, etc. will also get you to interesting and useful places, knowledge-wise).’
      • ‘In fact, McLuhan's pedagogy of heuristics argues that students raised in the electronic age must see themselves as more than the restricted definition of ‘student.’’


Late 18th century from modern Latin heuristicus, formed irregularly from Greek heuriskein ‘find’.