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Definitions and Synonyms of theory | Another word for theory | What is theory?

Definition 1: 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 - [noun denoting cognition]

Samples where theory or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses
  • true in fact and theory

(theory is a kind of ...) thought that makes something comprehensible

(... is a kind of theory ) a theory that all complex systems can be completely understood in terms of their components

(... is a kind of theory ) a sociological theory based on the premise that society comes before individuals

(... is a kind of theory ) the theory that the parts of any whole cannot exist and cannot be understood except in their relation to the whole

"holism holds that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" "holistic theory has been applied to ecology and language and mental states"

(... is a kind of theory ) (chemistry) any theory in which all matter is composed of tiny discrete finite indivisible indestructible particles

"the ancient Greek philosophers Democritus and Epicurus held atomic theories of the universe"

(... is a kind of theory ) (economics) a theory of commercial activities (such as the production and consumption of goods)

(... is a kind of theory ) (physics) a theory that explains a physical phenomenon in terms of a field and the manner in which it interacts with matter or with other fields

(... is a kind of theory ) a theory that explains scientific observations

"scientific theories must be falsifiable"

(... is a kind of theory ) a theory (popular in the 18th century and now discredited) that an individual develops by simple enlargement of a tiny fully formed organism (a homunculus) that exists in the germ cell

(... is a kind of theory ) theory that inherited characteristics are transmitted by germ plasm

(... is a kind of theory ) an anthropological theory that there are unobservable social structures that generate observable social phenomena

(theory is a part of ...) 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"

(theory is a part of ...) a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature

"the laws of thermodynamics"

Definition 2: a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena - [noun denoting cognition]

Samples where theory or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • 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

Synonyms for theory in the sense of this definition

(theory is a kind of ...) an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances

(... is a kind of theory ) a hypothetical possibility, circumstance, statement, proposal, situation, etc.

"consider the following, just as a hypothetical"

(... is a kind of theory ) the physically discrete element that Darwin proposed as responsible for heredity

(... is a kind of theory ) a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process

"the computer program was based on a model of the circulatory and respiratory systems"

(... is a kind of theory ) a hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing (usually with little hard evidence)

"speculations about the outcome of the election" "he dismissed it as mere conjecture"

(... is a kind of theory ) a hypothesis that is taken for granted

"any society is built upon certain assumptions"

(... is a kind of theory ) a theory that social and cultural events are determined by history

(... is part of theory) 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"

Definition 3: a belief that can guide behavior - [noun denoting cognition]

Samples where theory or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • the architect has a theory that more is less
  • they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales

(theory is a kind of ...) any cognitive content held as true

(... is a kind of theory ) (ethics) the theory that the pursuit of your own welfare in the basis of morality

(... is a kind of theory ) a theory or argument made up of miscellaneous or incongruous ideas

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