Of, relating to, or characteristic of a school, especially one of higher learning. Relating to studies that are liberal or classical rather than technical or vocational. Relating to scholarly performance: a student's academic average. Of or belonging to a scholarly organization. Scholarly to the point of being unaware of the outside world. See Synonyms at pedantic. Based on formal education. Formalistic or conventional. Theoretical or speculative without a practical purpose or intention. See Synonyms at theoretical. Having no practical purpose or use. A member of an institution of higher learning. One who has an academic viewpoint or a scholarly background.