What does theory mean?

Definitions for theory
ˈθi ə ri, ˈθɪər ithe·o·ry

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word theory.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. theorynoun

    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"

  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. theorynoun

    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"

Wiktionary

  1. theorynoun

    Mental conception; reflection, consideration.

  2. theorynoun

    A coherent statement or set of ideas that explains observed facts or phenomena, or which sets out the laws and principles of something known or observed; a hypothesis confirmed by observation, experiment etc.

  3. theorynoun

    The underlying principles or methods of a given technical skill, art etc., as opposed to its practice.

  4. theorynoun

    A field of study attempting to exhaustively describe a particular class of constructs.

    Knot theory classifies the mappings of a circle into 3-space.

  5. theorynoun

    A hypothesis or conjecture.

  6. theorynoun

    A set of axioms together with all statements derivable from them. Equivalently, a formal language plus a set of axioms (from which can then be derived theorems).

    A theory is consistent if it has a model.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. THEORYnoun

    Speculation; not practice; scheme; plan or system yet subsisting only in the mind.

    Etymology: theorie, Fr. ϑεωρία.

    If they had been themselves to execute their own theory in this church, they would have seen being nearer at hand. Richard Hooker, b. v.

    In making gold, the means hitherto propounded to effect it are in the practice full of errour, and in the theory full of unsound imagination. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist. №. 326.

    Practice alone divides the world into virtuous and vicious; but as to the theory and speculation of virtue and vice, mankind are much the same. Robert South, Sermons.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Theorynoun

    a doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation

  2. Theorynoun

    an exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music

  3. Theorynoun

    the science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine

  4. Theorynoun

    the philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments

Freebase

  1. Theory

    Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking. Depending on the context, the results might for example include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several different related meanings. A theory is not the same as a hypothesis, as a theory is a 'proven' hypothesis, that, in other words, has never been disproved through experiment, and has a basis in fact. One modern group of meanings emphasizes the speculative and generalizing nature of theory. For example in the arts and philosophy, the term "theoretical" may be used to describe ideas and empirical phenomena which are not easily measurable. And by extension of the philosophical meaning, "theoria" is also a word still used in theological contexts. As already in Aristotle's definitions, theory is very often contrasted to "practice" a Greek term for "doing", which is opposed to theory because pure theory involves no doing apart from itself. A classical example of the distinction between theoretical and practical uses the discipline of medicine: medical theory involves trying to understand the causes and nature of health and sickness, while the practical side of medicine is trying to make people healthy. These two things are related but can be independent, because it is possible to research health and sickness without curing specific patients, and it is possible to cure a patient without knowing how the cure worked.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. theory

    The consensus, idea, plan, story, or set of rules that is currently being used to inform a behavior. This usage is a generalization and (deliberate) abuse of the technical meaning. “What's the theory on fixing this TECO loss?” “What's the theory on dinner tonight?” (“Chinatown, I guess.”) “What's the current theory on letting lusers on during the day?” “The theory behind this change is to fix the following well-known screw....”

Editors Contribution

  1. theory

    A conceptual framework established for a given phenomenon.

    Theory of motivation


    Submitted by anonymous on July 24, 2019  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'theory' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #724

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'theory' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1839

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'theory' in Nouns Frequency: #228

How to pronounce theory?

How to say theory in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of theory in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of theory in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of theory in a Sentence

  1. Yascha Mounk:

    Over the past days...( replacement theory) has, for very good reason, been widely condemned, but the uncomfortable truth is that a less conspiratorial cousin of it has long been embraced in mainstream public discourse. In fact, it is one of the few things that both liberals and conservatives, both Democrats and Republicans, can now agree on.

  2. Benito Mussolini:

    Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.

  3. Patti Hidalgo Menders:

    Now you'll see that it's not just conservatives that are worried about critical race theory, it doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, this is our children.

  4. Ben Carson:

    It is quite literally the most ridiculous theory I've ever heard, that telling the voters what Donald Trump's actual record is is deceitful and lying.

  5. Whitney Sweeney:

    In theory, The Fed is independent, but higher taxes would have been a headwind. Absolutely.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

theory#1#1649#10000

Translations for theory

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