I have wondered for years if there is an (adjective?) form of the word: "experience". Obviously, I'm not too much of a grammar Nazi, as I'm not even sure if this would even be an adjective. But, that's why I'm here; to expand my vocabulary and enhance my grammar.

Anyway, it seems like the word I'm looking for would be "experiential" - or something meaning "of experience". I see that I didn't get a spelling error when I typed that, so that might be some indication. Thanks and sorry if this is the most ridiculous question you've ever seen.

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    experiential is certainly a proper word. You can look it up in a dictionary to see if means what you're looking for. Could you give an example of how you'd like to use the word you're looking for? – Barmar Sep 22 '14 at 20:34
  • I'm trying to think at what point I started thinking about this word. I think the context was something like: "I know this because of experiential evidence" - or something. I think I was writing an essay and got to the point where I'd have to use that word for my sentence to make sense. I can't remember what I did - probably re-worded. – Shane Sep 22 '14 at 20:36
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    That seems to be a correct use of the word. – Barmar Sep 22 '14 at 20:38
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    Probably you are referring to empirical evidence. – user66974 Sep 22 '14 at 20:39
  • The adjective that comes to my mind is experienced. Consider clarifying just what you mean, which would presumably exclude experienced. – Drew Sep 22 '14 at 20:53

Experiential is indeed a word with the general meaning you are looking for, but empirical, which Google defines as "based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic," is probably a better fit for the context you provided. Empirical evidence is a frequently used phrase in the worlds of science and philosophy.


As a complementary example to Chris Sunami's answer, please note that empirical does not cover the totality of, nor necessarily imply, the experiential.

Considering his answer as a start, we have the adjectival:

Empirical knowledge (also, but probably less frequent, empiric knowledge).

and we have

Experiential knowledge.

Regardless of any particular philosophical worldview, experiential knowledge or understanding is considered by many (but not all!) to be much more encompassing than empiric knowledge. As a (merely) physical-based perception, knowledge derived from an empirical perspective could be considered as a subset of experience.

So when you have empirical knowledge based on observations, say in a laboratory experiment, you are also experiencing something. But you can also have a dream, say, which is not at all empirical knowledge (in the typical sense of the word, empiric) - but you experience it nonetheless.

(Although many forms of experience exist, not all of which are empiric, discussions about that would veer promptly off topic, into deep epistemology - the purview of philosophy.SE)

  • This is true. However, it wasn't clear to me from the original question whether the OP was seeking a word with a wider or a more narrow scope. – Chris Sunami Sep 23 '14 at 1:35
  • @ChrisSunami - understood... I need to edit my answer 'counter example' comes off harsh, which wasn't intended! – Howard Pautz Sep 23 '14 at 1:51

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