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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
physical science
▪ It is on this same basis that physical science pursues, with ever-increasing success, its quest of laws of nature.
▪ Physics and physical science students had a strong sense of the hierarchy of different disciplines.
▪ Very few physical science students stressed the intellectual enjoyment of the degree course.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
physical science

Science \Sci"ence\, n. [F., fr. L. scientia, fr. sciens, -entis, p. pr. of scire to know. Cf. Conscience, Conscious, Nice.]

  1. Knowledge; knowledge of principles and causes; ascertained truth of facts.

    If we conceive God's sight or science, before the creation, to be extended to all and every part of the world, seeing everything as it is, . . . his science or sight from all eternity lays no necessity on anything to come to pass.

    Shakespeare's deep and accurate science in mental philosophy.

  2. Accumulated and established knowledge, which has been systematized and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the operation of general laws; knowledge classified and made available in work, life, or the search for truth; comprehensive, profound, or philosophical knowledge.

    All this new science that men lere [teach].

    Science is . . . a complement of cognitions, having, in point of form, the character of logical perfection, and in point of matter, the character of real truth.
    --Sir W. Hamilton.

  3. Especially, such knowledge when it relates to the physical world and its phenomena, the nature, constitution, and forces of matter, the qualities and functions of living tissues, etc.; -- called also natural science, and physical science.

    Voltaire hardly left a single corner of the field entirely unexplored in science, poetry, history, philosophy.
    --J. Morley.

  4. Any branch or department of systematized knowledge considered as a distinct field of investigation or object of study; as, the science of astronomy, of chemistry, or of mind.

    Note: The ancients reckoned seven sciences, namely, grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy; -- the first three being included in the Trivium, the remaining four in the Quadrivium.

    Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven, And though no science, fairly worth the seven.

  5. Art, skill, or expertness, regarded as the result of knowledge of laws and principles.

    His science, coolness, and great strength.
    --G. A. Lawrence.

    Note: Science is applied or pure. Applied science is a knowledge of facts, events, or phenomena, as explained, accounted for, or produced, by means of powers, causes, or laws. Pure science is the knowledge of these powers, causes, or laws, considered apart, or as pure from all applications. Both these terms have a similar and special signification when applied to the science of quantity; as, the applied and pure mathematics. Exact science is knowledge so systematized that prediction and verification, by measurement, experiment, observation, etc., are possible. The mathematical and physical sciences are called the exact sciences.

    Comparative sciences, Inductive sciences. See under Comparative, and Inductive.

    Syn: Literature; art; knowledge.

    Usage: Science, Literature, Art. Science is literally knowledge, but more usually denotes a systematic and orderly arrangement of knowledge. In a more distinctive sense, science embraces those branches of knowledge of which the subject-matter is either ultimate principles, or facts as explained by principles or laws thus arranged in natural order. The term literature sometimes denotes all compositions not embraced under science, but usually confined to the belles-lettres. [See Literature.] Art is that which depends on practice and skill in performance. ``In science, scimus ut sciamus; in art, scimus ut producamus. And, therefore, science and art may be said to be investigations of truth; but one, science, inquires for the sake of knowledge; the other, art, for the sake of production; and hence science is more concerned with the higher truths, art with the lower; and science never is engaged, as art is, in productive application. And the most perfect state of science, therefore, will be the most high and accurate inquiry; the perfection of art will be the most apt and efficient system of rules; art always throwing itself into the form of rules.''

physical science

n. An encompassing term for the branches of natural science and science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the biological sciences.

physical science

n. the science of matter and energy and their interactions [syn: physics, natural philosophy]

Usage examples of "physical science".

The First Foundation, which centered on physical science, was set up in the fuel daylight of publicity.

Far from revolutionizing science, his work has not added one even marginal item to the world of physical science.

But Kornhoers descriptions of the old documents they say they have are descriptions of papers that might well be taken from physical science texts of some kind.

Logical positivism was based on the physical science of the nineteenth century which, physicists of that century honestly believed, fully explained the universe as a piece of clockwork.

I realized almost at once that this world was more advanced in physical science and.

For in dealing with optics, physical science turns at once to phenomena of light found outside man - in fact to phenomena in that physical realm from which, as the lowest of the kingdoms of nature, the observations of natural science are bound to start.

This is identical to our situation several centuries ago when our Western physical science was based upon a study of the elements.

It remains to inquire whether all the data of psychology are also data of physical science, and especially of physiology.

It will be best for him to consider (provisionally) Truth in the sense in which it is taken by Physical Science.

There was the vast flowering of physical science, in worlds where there was room for it.