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. Abstract or general principles of a science or art considered apart from practice; hypothesis; a general principle intended to explain observed facts; individual idea.
  9. An hypothesis; a reasoned and probable explanation of the manner in which something has been produced or will be produced; a doctrine of which absolute proof is lacking.
  10. An explanation, or system of anything: an exposition of the abstract principles of a science or art: speculation as opposed to practice.
  11. Explanation or system of anything; unproved explanation of any series of phenomena; exposition of abstract principles; speculation.
  12. A plan or scheme subsisting in the mind only; abstract knowledge of any art; a proposed explanation: speculation.
  13. 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.
  14. 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. I'm sure my theory is right." – Tom Swift and his Air Glider or, Seeking the Platinum Treasure by Victor Appleton
  2. The theory of books is noble. – Emerson and Other Essays by John Jay Chapman
  3. My theory is that we all eat too much. – The Firing Line by Robert W. Chambers
  4. " 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
  5. I mentioned the red- spark theory. – Careers of Danger and Daring by Cleveland Moffett
  6. " That's theory," I smiled. – The Million-Dollar Suitcase by Alice MacGowan Perry Newberry
  7. We'll help you with your theory." – The Holes and John Smith by Edward W. Ludwig
  8. And here, as elsewhere, theory must wait upon fact. – The Expositor's Bible: The Gospel of St. John, Vol. I by Marcus Dods
  9. That is my theory. – The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume
  10. " 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
  11. I suppose you've no theory as to where they have gone?" – Jack O' Judgment by Edgar Wallace
  12. 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
  13. What's your own theory of the matter? – The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson
  14. " To prove a theory that I had formed, and which I have mentioned in a vague sort of way," went on Ashton- Kirk, " I asked Sagon why he had used a bayonet. – Ashton-Kirk, Investigator by John T. McIntyre
  15. Oh, there may be a theory! – Angela's Business by Henry Sydnor Harrison
  16. This is a comfortable theory. – Marie by Laura E. Richards
  17. It is all a theory, I suppose. – The Lost Art of Reading by Gerald Stanley Lee
  18. But it is only a theory of mine. – The Film Mystery by Arthur B. Reeve
  19. How's that for a theory? – The Monk of Hambleton by Armstrong Livingston
  20. 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
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