Meaning of heuristic

heu•ris•tic

Pronunciation: (hyoo-ris'tik or, often, yoo-), [key]
— 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 own, as by experimenting, evaluating possible answers or solutions, or by trial and error: a heuristic teaching method.
  3. of, pertaining to, or based on experimentation, evaluation, or trial-and-error methods.
  4. pertaining to a trial-and-error method of problem solving used when an algorithmic approach is impractical.
—n.
  1. a heuristic method of argument.
  2. the study of heuristic procedure.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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