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heu·ris·tic  (hy-rstk)
1. Of or relating to a usually speculative formulation serving as a guide in the investigation or solution of a problem: The historian discovers the past by the judicious use of such a heuristic device as the ideal type (Karl J. Weintraub).
2. Of or constituting an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student.
3. Computer Science Relating to or using a problem-solving technique in which the most appropriate solution of several found by alternative methods is selected at successive stages of a program for use in the next step of the program.
1. A heuristic method or process.
2. heuristics (used with a sing. verb) The study and application of heuristic methods and processes.

[From Greek heuriskein, to find.]

heu·risti·cal·ly adv.

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