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1. Of or relating to a usually speculative formulation serving as a guide in the investigation or solution of a problem: "The historian discovers the past by the judicious use of such a heuristic device as the 'ideal type'" (Karl J. Weintraub).
2. Of or constituting an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student.
3. Computers Relating to or using a problem-solving technique in which the most appropriate solution of several found by alternative methods is selected at successive stages of a program for use in the next step of the program.
1. A heuristic method or process.
2. heuristics(used with a sing. verb) The study and application of heuristic methods and processes.

[From Greek heuriskein, to find.]

heu·ris′ti·cal·ly adv.


1. helping to learn; guiding in discovery or investigation
2. (Education) (of a method of teaching) allowing pupils to learn things for themselves
3. (Mathematics)
a. maths science philosophy using or obtained by exploration of possibilities rather than by following set rules
b. computing denoting a rule of thumb for solving a problem without the exhaustive application of an algorithm: a heuristic solution.
(plural) the science of heuristic procedure
[C19: from New Latin heuristicus, from Greek heuriskein to discover]
heuˈristically adv


(hyʊˈrɪs tɪk or, often, yʊ-)

1. serving to indicate or point out; stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation.
2. encouraging a person to learn, discover, or solve problems on his or her own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error: a heuristic teaching method.
3. pertaining to or based on experimentation, evaluation, or trial-and-error methods.
4. a heuristic method or argument.
5. the study of heuristic procedure.
[1815–25; < New Latin heuristicus= Greek heur(ískein) to find out, discover + Latin -isticus -istic]
heu•ris′ti•cal•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.heuristic - a commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem
formula, rule - (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems; "he determined the upper bound with Descartes' rule of signs"; "he gave us a general formula for attacking polynomials"
lateral thinking - a heuristic for solving problems; you try to look at the problem from many angles instead of tackling it head-on
Adj.1.heuristic - of or relating to or using a general formulation that serves to guide investigation
algorithmic - of or relating to or having the characteristics of an algorithm


[hjʊəˈrɪstɪk] ADJheurístico
heuristic searchinvestigación f heurística


[hjʊəˈrɪstɪk] adj [method] → heuristique


n heuristics singHeuristik f
References in periodicals archive ?
They make assumptions, think they know what's going on when they don't and generally make psychological and hueristic mistakes.
This hueristic selection increases coding opportunity for that underlying set, because overhearing of packets for nodes that are near to each other is high.
In Figure 1 we provide a hueristic summary of the model underlying our empirical work.