Heuristic Heu*ris"tic (h[-u]*r[i^]s"t[i^]k), a. [Gr. e"yri`skein to discover.] 1. Serving to promote discovery or learning; -- used especially of thories or paradigms which stimulate new ideas for discovering facts in experimental sciences. [1913 Webster +PJC]

2. Serving to stimulate people to learn and discover on their own, especially by encouraging experimental and trial-and-error methods for solving problems. [PJC]

3. Pertaining to or based on trial-and-error and experimental methods of learning and evaluation. [PJC]

4. (Computers) Based on the use of an efficient trial-and error method to search a space of possible solutions to a problem, or to find an acceptable approximate solution, when an exact algorithmic method is unavailable or too time-consuming. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Heuristic — (hyu̇ ˈris tik) is a method to help solve a problem, commonly an informal method. It is particularly used to rapidly come to a solution that is reasonably close to the best possible answer, or optimal solution . Heuristics are rules of thumb ,… …   Wikipedia

  • heuristic — UK US /hjʊəˈrɪstɪk/ noun ► [C] a method of learning or solving problems that allows people to discover things themselves and learn from their own experiences: »As a heuristic, it is a good test to ask the question: what might I do in this… …   Financial and business terms

  • Heuristic — Heu*ris tic (h[ u]*r[i^]s t[i^]k), n. 1. A heuristic method; a specific heuristic procedure. [PJC] 2. A theory or approach which serves to promote discovery or learning by encouraging experimentation. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • heuristic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves. 2) Computing proceeding to a solution by trial and error or by rules that are only loosely defined. ► NOUN 1) (heuristics) (usu. treated as sing. ) the study and use… …   English terms dictionary

  • heuristic — (adj.) serving to discover or find out, 1821, irregular formation from Gk. heuretikos inventive, related to heuriskein to find (from PIE *were to find; Cf. O.Ir. fuar I have found ) + ISTIC (Cf. istic). As a noun, from 1860 …   Etymology dictionary

  • heuristic — [hyo͞o ris′tik] adj. [< Ger heuristisch < Gr heuriskein, to invent, discover: see EUREKA] helping to discover or learn; specif., designating a method of education or of computer programming in which the pupil or machine proceeds along… …   English World dictionary

  • heuristic — I. adjective Etymology: German heuristisch, from New Latin heuristicus, from Greek heuriskein to discover; akin to Old Irish fo fúair he found Date: 1821 involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem solving by experimental… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • heuristic —    Helping to discover or learn; serving to indicate, point out, guide, or reveal. Heuristic can be either a noun or an adjective. A heuristic is anything object or activity that gets a person to think fruitfully about something in order to come… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • heuristic — adj. & n. adj. 1 allowing or assisting to discover. 2 Computing proceeding to a solution by trial and error. n. 1 the science of heuristic procedure. 2 a heuristic process or method. 3 (in pl., usu. treated as sing.) Computing the study and use… …   Useful english dictionary

  • heuristic — heuristically, adv. /hyoo ris tik/ or, often, /yoo /, adj. 1. serving to indicate or point out; stimulating interest as a means of furthering investigation. 2. encouraging a person to learn, discover, understand, or solve problems on his or her… …   Universalium

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