An academic is a career college teacher, a professor. Academics live by the rule "publish or perish."
As a noun or an adjective, academic relates to book learning and not always in a good way. An academic discussion back in Plato's Academy was probably something better than what it has more recently come to mean: a discussion that's academic has no place in the real world; it's not practical. An academic might have a PhD in Robotics but not know how to work the TV. It doesn't have to mean stuffy, though, just related to college — like when you need an academic gown for graduation.
Primary Meanings of academic
associated with academia or an academy
an educator who works at a college or university
hypothetical or theoretical and not expected to produce an immediate or practical result
adj associated with academia or an academy
n an educator who works at a college or university
- show 6 types...
- hide 6 types...
someone who is a member of the faculty at a college or university
a teacher or lower rank than an associate professor
a teacher lower in rank than a full professor but higher than an assistant professor
a professor of the highest rank
holder of a British professorship created by a royal patron
a professor visiting another college or university to teach for a limited time