Academic - academician
The noun academician is not, in the UK, a more impressive or formal way of saying academic - although OED does record this as meaning 1.: "= academic n. 3. [...a member of a university or college's teaching or research staff...] Now chiefly U.S." (AWE's emphasis).
- So the most usual meaning of academic, as a noun, in UK is 'a person professionally engaged in Higher Education', 'a professor or lecturer (or one aspiring to that status)'. For more meanings, see Academic.
- An academician, in British English, is a member of an officially constituted Academy, such as the Royal Academy, the pinnacle of the career of a traditional artist; the British Academy, to be elected to which is a great honour for scholars in the humanities; and the Académie Française, whose 40 members, entrusted with the care of the French language, are also known by their (slightly) less formal nickname of Les Immortelles ('the Immortals').
- These two words used to be more or less interchangeable. Modern writers however are advised to keep them apart.
- In the early days of the Academies, in the 17th century, and for some time afterwards, members were also called academists; rather later, the word academical was also used. Both these words should be considered obsolete in this sense: don't use them.