Dictionary.net

Definitions of theory

  1. a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; " a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; " he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"
  2. a well- substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; " theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; " true in fact and theory"
  3. a belief that can guide behavior; " the architect has a theory that more is less"; " they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales"
  4. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
  5. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.
  6. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.
  7. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.
  8. An explanation, or system of anything: an exposition of the abstract principles of a science or art: speculation as opposed to practice.
  9. Explanation or system of anything; unproved explanation of any series of phenomena; exposition of abstract principles; speculation.
  10. Speculation; a doctrine or scheme which terminates in mere speculation; an exposition of the general principles of anything; the science distinguished from the art of a thing; the philosophical or scientific explanation of phenomena.
  11. A doctrine or scheme of things terminating in speculation, and without a view to practice; the abstract principles of any art considered without reference to practice; the opposite of practice; the science, distinguished from the art; the philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; a scheme or system founded on inferences drawn from certain principles, or from the particular arrangement of certain facts.
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Usage examples for theory

  1. But it is only a theory of mine. – The Film Mystery by Arthur B. Reeve
  2. How's that for a theory? – The Monk of Hambleton by Armstrong Livingston
  3. It is all a theory, I suppose. – The Lost Art of Reading by Gerald Stanley Lee
  4. My theory is that we all eat too much. – The Firing Line by Robert W. Chambers
  5. This is a comfortable theory. – Marie by Laura E. Richards
  6. And the half- startled look in the wide- opened eyes, meeting his in their straight glance, confirmed him in his theory. – The Heath Hover Mystery by Bertram Mitford
  7. " We heard nothing of the kind," said I. " And what is your theory of this poor fellow's death?" – The Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle
  8. " That's theory," I smiled. – The Million-Dollar Suitcase by Alice MacGowan Perry Newberry
  9. We'll help you with your theory." – The Holes and John Smith by Edward W. Ludwig
  10. I mentioned the red- spark theory. – Careers of Danger and Daring by Cleveland Moffett
  11. " I must ask Lady Downham to introduce me," he said to himself, wondering whether the proud face would smile upon him, and, if she carried into practice her favorite theory of saying what she thought, what she would say to him. – Dora Thorne by Charlotte M. Braeme
  12. The theory of books is noble. – Emerson and Other Essays by John Jay Chapman
  13. That is my theory. – The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume
  14. The central point of this work is the exposition of his theory of the romantic school of poetry. – Halleck's New English Literature by Reuben P. Halleck
  15. Oh, there may be a theory! – Angela's Business by Henry Sydnor Harrison
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