theory
noun (plural -ries) Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek theōria, from theōrein Date: 1592 1. the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another 2. abstract thought ; speculation 3. the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <
music theory
>
4. a. a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <
her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn
>
b. an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances — often used in the phrase in theory <
in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all
>
5. a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <
the wave theory of light
>
6. a. a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b. an unproved assumption ; conjecture c. a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <
theory of equations
>
Synonyms: see hypothesis

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • theory — theo‧ry [ˈθɪəri ǁ ˈθiːəri] noun theories PLURALFORM 1. [countable] an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain why something happens or how it works: theory of • The book is called An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change . • The theory… …   Financial and business terms

  • Theory — The o*ry, n.; pl. {Theories}. [F. th[ e]orie, L. theoria, Gr. ? a beholding, spectacle, contemplation, speculation, fr. ? a spectator, ? to see, view. See {Theater}.] 1. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • theory — theory, social theory A theory is an account of the world which goes beyond what we can see and measure. It embraces a set of interrelated definitions and relationships that organizes our concepts of and understanding of the empirical world in a… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • theory — I noun assumption, belief, conjecture, doctrina, doctrine, dogma, guesswork, hypothesis, ideology, opinion, philosophy, postulate, presupposition, proposition, ratio, speculation, supposition, surmise, thesis, thought, untested opinion, view… …   Law dictionary

  • theory — [thē′ə rē, thir′ē] n. pl. theories [< Fr or LL: Fr théorie < LL theoria < Gr theōria, a looking at, contemplation, speculation, theory < theōrein: see THEOREM] 1. Obs. a mental viewing; contemplation 2. a speculative idea or plan as… …   English World dictionary

  • theory — ► NOUN (pl. theories) 1) a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. 2) an idea accounting for or justifying something. 3) a set of… …   English terms dictionary

  • theory — theory …   Philosophy dictionary

  • theory — (n.) 1590s, conception, mental scheme, from L.L. theoria (Jerome), from Gk. theoria contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at, from theorein to consider, speculate, look at, from theoros spectator, from thea a view + horan to see …   Etymology dictionary

  • theory — *hypothesis, law Analogous words: judgment, conclusion, deduction, inference (see under INFER): postulate, presumption, assumption, presupposition (see under PRESUPPOSE) Antonyms: practice …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • theory — [n] hypothesis, belief approach, argument, assumption, base, basis, code, codification, concept, conditions, conjecture, doctrine, dogma, feeling, formularization, foundation, grounds, guess, guesswork, hunch, idea, ideology, impression, method,… …   New thesaurus

  • Theory — The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion.In science a theory is a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena,… …   Wikipedia

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