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of or relating to a college, , school, or other educational institution, especially one for higher education:
academic requirements.
pertaining to areas of study that are not primarily vocational or applied, as the humanities or pure mathematics.
theoretical or hypothetical; not practical, realistic, or directly useful:
an academic question; an academic discussion of a matter already decided.
learned or scholarly but lacking in worldliness, common sense, or practicality.
conforming to set rules, standards, or traditions; conventional:
academic painting.
acquired by formal education, especially at a college or university:
academic preparation for the ministry.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to Academe or to the Platonic school of philosophy.
a student or teacher at a college or university.
a person who is academic in background, attitudes, methods, etc.:
He was by temperament an academic, concerned with books and the arts.
(initial capital letter) a person who supports or advocates the Platonic school of philosophy.
academics, the scholarly activities of a school or university, as classroom studies or research projects:
more emphasis on academics and less on athletics.
Contemporary Examples

A Muslim writing an academic book about Jesus is groundbreaking.
Jesus Needs Reza Aslan, Author of ‘Zealot’ Kirsten Powers August 10, 2013

Moore plays a gynecologist (hoo boy) with an academic husband (Liam Neeson) who is obviously cheating on her.
The Campiest Movie of the Year Choire Sicha March 27, 2010

From the recent low of 564,766 in the 2005-2006 academic year, enrollment has risen sharply.
Give Me Your Studious: American Universities Are Prolific Exporters Daniel Gross August 21, 2013

The law effectively shields retailers from lawsuits, academic study and public scrutiny.
Are Gun Accidents ‘Very Rare’? David Frum February 19, 2013

Lawmakers can travel at taxpayer expense or accept free trips to symposiums paid for by academic institutions and think tanks.
Exclusive: Congressional Travel Spikes, Despite Vows of Austerity Laura Colarusso June 12, 2011

Historical Examples

The College was planted at a time when law was not treated, even in England, as a part of academic instruction.
Charles Sumner; His Complete Works, Volume III (of 20) Charles Sumner

The academic product is, it must be remembered, a bundle of conventions.
The Curse of Education Harold E. Gorst

Hatred of the academic model made Leys bring art back to its sources.
The History of Modern Painting, Volume 1 (of 4) Richard Muther

A successful teacher of an academy, raises the standard of academic instruction.
The Teacher Jacob Abbott

“They don’t read the service until the grave is filled in,” said Lean, pressing his lips to an academic expression.
Last Words Stephen Crane

belonging or relating to a place of learning, esp a college, university, or academy
of purely theoretical or speculative interest: an academic argument
excessively concerned with intellectual matters and lacking experience of practical affairs
(esp of a schoolchild) having an aptitude for study
conforming to set rules and traditions; conventional: an academic painter
relating to studies such as languages, philosophy, and pure science, rather than applied, technical, or professional studies
a member of a college or university

1580s, “relating to an academy,” also “collegiate, scholarly,” from Latin academicus “of the Academy,” from academia (see academy). Meaning “theoretical, not practical, not leading to a decision” (such as university debates or classroom legal exercises) is from 1886. Academic freedom is attested from 1901. Related: Academically.


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