Is there any substantive difference in the meanings of these two words? Is the latter considered a proper word at all?

If the answer to either of the above questions is yes, what are these words' differences in usage?

Similarly, "acoustic" versus "acoustical", etc.

  • 3
    Related: Why is it geometric_ but theoretic_al_?
    – RegDwigнt
    Apr 1, 2011 at 10:16
  • I don't think I've ever seen "scientifical" used, except in jest.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 16, 2018 at 1:54
  • ("Acoustic" vs "acoustical" is a touchier matter. Start arguing about it too violently and asbestos sifts out of the acoustical tile overhead.)
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 16, 2018 at 1:55

4 Answers 4


There is no such English word as "scientifical." You might make an argument that "acoustic" has the same meaning as "acoustical," though. Ain't English great?


'Scientifical' is being promoted as a term to describe something that has the veneer of science but lacks scientific validity - e.g. women in lab coats with clipboards and wearing glasses in 'laboratories' which conclusively prove that their conditioner provides 43% more vavoom to your hair, or for the sorts of activities done by pseudoscientists.

Sharon Hill, who writes on public understanding of science used the term in the title of her book 'Scientifical Americans'.

Also see Troy Maclure in the Lisa the Vegetarian episode of the Simpsons - 'We asked this scientician ...'


"Scientifical"is in fact a word in the English language according to the Oxford dictionary, Merriam Webster, Collins... Although I DID end up here, posting this, after coming across the word for the first time, in an article this evening. I thought it to be a case of poor journalism as, despite considering myself an avid reader, this is the first time I've ever encountered the word. It sounds like someone having a joke at someone else's poor grammar (like "conversate" aaaggghhh it makes me wanna grind my teeth! Haha)

  • It's good you found the answer. Please share the link so that others can see where you found the answer.
    – Karlomanio
    Feb 22, 2019 at 15:27

Yeah, Scientifical is considered a real word, but it would be a lot less commonly used and you will receive odd looks. Acoustical is a more specific word than Acoustic, but can actually be used in the same sense.

Acoustic refers to things related to sound, as does Acoustical, but Acoustical also refers to things relating to Acoustic... Yes, that's definitely something sounding weird, but remember that Acoustic can refer to the science around sound, so Acoustical actually more specifically refers to things relating to the science around sound and is very Rarely used except in very specific instances, or else when Acoustic could have been used instead.

  • Where's your evidence? Sep 16, 2015 at 10:57

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