What does hypothesis mean?

Definitions for hypothesis
haɪˈpɒθ ə sɪs, hɪ-; -ˌsizhy·poth·e·sis

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word hypothesis.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. hypothesisnoun

    a proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations

  2. hypothesis, possibility, theorynoun

    a tentative insight into 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"

  3. guess, conjecture, supposition, surmise, surmisal, speculation, hypothesisnoun

    a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence


  1. hypothesisnoun

    Used loosely, a tentative conjecture explaining an observation, phenomenon or scientific problem that can be tested by further observation, investigation and/or experimentation. As a scientific term of art, see the attached quotation. Compare to theory, and quotation given there.

  2. hypothesisnoun

    An assumption taken to be true for the purpose of argument or investigation.

  3. hypothesisnoun

    The antecedent of a conditional statement.

  4. Etymology: Recorded since 1596, from hypothese, from hypothesis, from ὑπόθεσις, literally “a placing under”, itself from ὑποτίθημι, from ὑπό + τίθημι.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


    A supposition; a system formed upon some principle not proved.

    Etymology: hypothese, Fr. ὑϖόϑεσις.

    The mind casts and turns itself restlesly from one thing to another, ’till at length it brings all the ends of a long and various hypothesis together; sees how one part coheres with another, and so clears off all the appearing contrarieties that seemed to lie cross, and make the whole intelligible. Robert South, Serm.

    With imagin’d sovereignty
    Lord of his new hypothesis he reigns:
    He reigns: how long? ’till some usurper rise;
    And he too, mighty thoughtful, mighty wise,
    Studies new lines, and other circles feigns. Matthew Prior.


  1. hypothesis

    A hypothesis is a proposed explanation or assumption for a specific phenomenon or set of observations, which is then tested through research or experimentation. It is a fundamental aspect of scientific investigation and serves as the basis for conducting experiments, collecting data, and reaching conclusions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Hypothesisnoun

    a supposition; a proposition or principle which is supposed or taken for granted, in order to draw a conclusion or inference for proof of the point in question; something not proved, but assumed for the purpose of argument, or to account for a fact or an occurrence; as, the hypothesis that head winds detain an overdue steamer

  2. Hypothesisnoun

    a tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to guide in the investigation of others; hence, frequently called a working hypothesis


  1. Hypothesis

    A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A scientific hypothesis is a proposed explanation of a phenomenon which still has to be rigorously tested. In contrast, a scientific theory has undergone extensive testing and is generally accepted to be the accurate explanation behind an observation. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research. A different meaning of the term hypothesis is used in formal logic, to denote the antecedent of a proposition; thus in the proposition "If P, then Qs; Q can be called a consequent. P is the assumption in a What If question. The adjective hypothetical, meaning "having the nature of a hypothesis", or "being assumed to exist as an immediate consequence of a hypothesis", can refer to any of these meanings of the term "hypothesis".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Hypothesis

    hī-poth′e-sis, n. a supposition: a proposition assumed for the sake of argument: a theory to be proved or disproved by reference to facts: a provisional explanation of anything.—v.i. Hypoth′esize, to form hypotheses.—adjs. Hypothet′ic, -al, belonging to a hypothesis: conditional.—adv. Hypothet′ically. [Gr., hypo, under, tithenai, to place.]

Editors Contribution

  1. hypothesis

    vulnerable guess.

    Submitted by anonymous on January 27, 2021  

Suggested Resources

  1. Hypothesis

    Hypothesis vs. Prediction -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Hypothesis and Prediction.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'hypothesis' in Nouns Frequency: #1672

How to pronounce hypothesis?

How to say hypothesis in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of hypothesis in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of hypothesis in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of hypothesis in a Sentence

  1. Peter Daszak:

    It's not a complete throwing out of that hypothesis, it's a conclusion that it's extremely unlikely and that there is a much more likely hypothesis out there.

  2. Michel Sapin:

    I can clearly say that for 2014 France will respect the conditions that allow us to be in line with the application of the rules. The advantage of March is that we won't be working with hypothesis but with real data.

  3. Enrico Fermi:

    There's two possible outcomes if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery.

  4. Vidulfo Rosales:

    Today there is no irrefutable proof, there remains lines of investigations, there are several people who need to be arrested, there are several statements that could change the course of the investigation, parents are not going to accept the hypothesis before us. It is not a conclusive, final investigation. The investigation needs to be open, so that there will be the full truth that the parents are fighting for. We make several petitions that we find this truth.

  5. Edward Teller:

    A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective.

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Translations for hypothesis

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"hypothesis." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/hypothesis>.

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    the part played by a person in bringing about a result
    • A. accessory
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