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 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"
  3. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
  4. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.
  5. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.
  6. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.
  7. An explanation, or system of anything: an exposition of the abstract principles of a science or art: speculation as opposed to practice.
  8. Explanation or system of anything; unproved explanation of any series of phenomena; exposition of abstract principles; speculation.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.