Etymology
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heuristic (adj.)

"serving to discover or find out," 1821, irregular formation from Greek heuriskein "to find; find out, discover; devise, invent; get, gain, procure" (from PIE *were- (2) "to find;" cognate with Old Irish fuar "I have found") + -istic. As a noun, from 1860. Greek had heuretikos "inventive," also heurema "an invention, a discovery; that which is found unexpectedly."

updated on July 08, 2015

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Definitions of heuristic from WordNet
1
heuristic (n.)
a commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem;
Synonyms: heuristic rule / heuristic program
2
heuristic (adj.)
of or relating to or using a general formulation that serves to guide investigation;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.