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etic Syllabification: et·ic

Definition of etic in English:


Relating to or denoting an approach to the study or description of a particular language or culture that is general, nonstructural, and objective in its perspective. Often contrasted with emic.
Example sentences
  • In ethnographic studies, the orientation of the researcher is termed etic or emic.
  • Related to the problems of anachronism and ethnocentrism is the distinction between emic and etic terms.
  • Drawing on data from biological anthropology, historical linguistics, and archaeology, he attempts an etic examination of the processes of formation of ethnic groups in the Japanese islands between 400 BC and the medieval era.

plural noun

(etics) [treated as singular] Back to top  
Study adopting this approach.
Example sentences
  • Social researchers who believe they substitute synonymous concepts for emics and etics in fact settle for less precision by distinguishing between subjective and objective perspectives.
  • If the different perspectives characterized as emics or etics are ignored or conflated, the theoretical aims and empirical data of the study will be rendered worthless.


1950s: abstracted from phonetic.

Definition of etic in:
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