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theory

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
Don Marquis
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English

Etymology

English since 1613, from French théorie < Latin theoria < Greek θεωρία ("contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at") < θεωρέω (to look at, view, consider, examine) < θεωρός (spectator) < θέα (a view) + ὁράω (to see, to look).

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
theory

Plural
theor

theory (theor)
  1. (countable) An unproven conjecture.
    I have a theory about who broke into the school last night, but I have no proof to back it up.
  2. (uncountable) An expectation of what should happen, barring unforeseen circumstances.
    So we’ll be there in three hours?That’s the theory.
  3. (countable) (sciences) A coherent statement or set of statements that attempts to explain observed phenomena.
    There is now a well-developed theory of electrical charge.
  4. (countable) (sciences) A logical structure that enables one to deduce the possible results of every experiment that falls within its purview.
    The theory of relativity was proposed by Einstein.
  5. (uncountable) (mathematics) A field of study attempting to exhaustively describe a particular class of constructs.
    Knot theory classifies the mappings of a circle into 3-space.
  6. (countable) (logic) A set of axioms together with all statements derivable from them.
    A theory is consistent if it has a model.

Synonyms

Derived terms

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