a person who teaches and/or does research at a university or college See related entries: University people Word Origin mid 16th cent.: from French académique or medieval Latin academicus, from academia, from Greek akadēmeia, from Akadēmos, the hero after whom Plato's garden was named. Extra examplesA distinguished academic from America was due to speak that evening. Academics are not generally very well paid. Many senior academics are taking up positions overseas. There is much debate among academics about this issue.