# heuristic

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Related to heuristic: Heuristic algorithm

## heu·ris·tic

(hyo͝o-rĭs′tĭk)*adj.*

**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.

*n.*

**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.*

## heuristic

(hjʊəˈrɪstɪk)*adj*

**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.

*n*

(

*plural*) the science of heuristic procedure[C19: from New Latin

*heuristicus,*from Greek*heuriskein*to discover]**heuˈristically**

*adv*

## heu•ris•tic

(hyʊˈrɪs tɪk*or, often,*yʊ-)

*adj.*

**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.

*n.*

**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 WordsSynonyms

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Noun | 1. | heuristic - a commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problemformula, 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 investigationalgorithmic - of or relating to or having the characteristics of an algorithm |

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