"Whether it’s when I fold napkin lotuses for my soup kitchen’s Christmas dinner, or bake challah bread French toast sticks for my chemistry class, I’m aware that achievement doesn’t have to be measured empirically. It’s that entrepreneurial, self-driven determination to bring ideas to life that drives me".

I need some help finding a single word synonymous to the word "empirically" in this case.

I understand the literal meaning of the word "empirical", which is defined as "derived from or relating to experience/experiment/observation, not theory".

I take it that the author was saying (my paraphrasing it)"achievement is not measured by experience(what is done) but by determination(a firm thought of doing it)".

Thesaurus has the following synonyms but I felt none is a good substitute (maybe except "experimentally" ??). Any other synonyms ?

synonym: experimental, factual, observational, experient, experiential, observed pragmatic, provisional, speculative

  • Could you clarify why you need a one-word synonym? That is why can't you use "empirically", and why must the synonym be one word?
    – James K
    May 12, 2018 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


Experimentally is quite close in meaning. Or you could use "objectively". The sense of "empirical" suggests exactness, so you could use "exactly" or "precisely".

Another expression that contains the same idea is "calculated" in place of "measured", so you could say "... doesn't have to be precisely calculated"

You could leave out the adverb completely as "measure" implies "empirically"

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