Definition of anthropic principle in English:

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anthropic principle

Pronunciation: /anˌTHräpik ˈprinsəp(ə)l/


The cosmological principle that theories of the universe are constrained by the necessity to allow human existence.

In its ‘weak’ form the principle affirms that a universe in which living observers cannot exist is inherently unobservable. ‘Strong’ forms take this line of reasoning further, seeking to explain features of the universe as being so because they are necessary for human existence.

Example sentences
  • Yet some scientists - though certainly not all - are convinced that the anthropic principle has intrinsic scientific worth.
  • Both gentlemen believe the anthropic principle strongly suggests an ultimate purpose to the universe.
  • The anthropic principle has given much weight to the theory of intelligent design.


1970s: anthropic from Greek anthrōpikos, from anthrōpos 'human being'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: an·throp·ic prin·ci·ple

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