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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Late Latin systēmaticus, from Koine Greek συστηματικός (sustēmatikós), from σύστημᾰ (sústēma, a composite; system) +‎ -ῐκός (-ikós, adjective suffix). Cognate with French systématique and Italian sistematico.[1] By surface analysis, system +‎ -atic.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˌsɪs.təˈmæt.ɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ætɪk


systematic (comparative more systematic, superlative most systematic)

  1. Carried out according to a planned, ordered procedure.
  2. (by extension) Methodical, regular and orderly.
    Antonyms: chaotic, haphazard
  3. Treating an object as a system or coherent whole.
    the systematic study of religious beliefs
  4. (taxonomy) Of or relating to taxonomic classification.
  5. (chemistry) Of, relating to, or in accordance with generally recognized conventions for the naming of chemicals.
  6. (archaic or academic) Of, relating to, or being a system.
    • 1878 January, “A French Critic on Goethe”, in The Quarterly Review, volume 145, number 289, page 145:
      But the systematic judgment is altogether unprofitable. Its author has not really his eye upon the professed object of his criticism at all, but upon something else, which he wants to prove by means of that object. [] As it is, all that he tells us is that he is no genuine critic, but a man with a system, an advocate.
    • 1968, William J. Bouwsma, Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty: Renaissance Values in the Age of Counter Reformation, page 219:
      And Paruta’s work also suggests that Venetians in the generation following the battle of Lepanto, although without altogether abandoning systematic views, were tending increasingly to look to history for their understanding of human affairs.


Derived terms[edit]

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systematic (comparative more systematic, superlative most systematic)

  1. (colloquial) systematically
    • 1898, H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, London: William Heinemann:
      "So soon as they've settled all our guns and ships, and smashed our railways, and done all the things they are doing over there, they will begin catching us systematic, picking the best and storing us in cages and things."
    • 2019, Sewell Ford, Torchy and Vee[1]:
      And say, when them Gogs started out to put a thing through they did it systematic and thorough.


  1. ^ systematic, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.