• Relating to entities and the facts about them; relating to real as opposed to phenomenal existence.

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Example Sentences

“We can see the ontic results of the new technology playing out in schools right now.”

“Let’s not talk about theories; we have ontic data.” 

“After years of hypotheses, we can now review the ontic conclusions.” 

Word Origin

Greek, early 20th century

Why this word?

The adjective “ontic” came into use around the early 20th century, but the related adjective “ontological” was being used by philosophers and theologians as early as 1705. From the Greek “ont-” — which means “being” — both words are concerned with what is real. “Ontological” usually means anything related to metaphysics, which is a branch of philosophy developed by Aristotle. It asks fundamental questions such as “What is being?” or “What is change?” or “What is our purpose?” “Ontic,” while related to “ontological,” brings the philosophy down from the heavens and describes the things related to factual existence.

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