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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" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  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" Wordnet Dictionary DB
  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" Scrapingweb Dictionary DB
  4. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation. Webster Dictionary DB
  5. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music. Webster Dictionary DB
  6. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine. Webster Dictionary DB
  7. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments. Webster Dictionary DB
  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. The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919.
  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. A practical medical dictionary. By Stedman, Thomas Lathrop. Published 1920.
  10. An explanation, or system of anything: an exposition of the abstract principles of a science or art: speculation as opposed to practice. The american dictionary of the english language. By Daniel Lyons. Published 1899.
  11. Explanation or system of anything; unproved explanation of any series of phenomena; exposition of abstract principles; speculation. The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894.
  12. A plan or scheme subsisting in the mind only; abstract knowledge of any art; a proposed explanation: speculation. The Concise Standard Dictionary of the English Language. By James Champlin Fernald. Published 1919.
  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. Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914.
  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. Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.
  15. Supposition explaining something, esp. one based on principles independent of the phenomena &c. to be explained, opp. to HYPOTHESIS, as atomic t., t. of gravitation, evolution; speculative view, as one of my pet tt. (often implying fancifulness); the sphere of speculative thought, as this is all very well in t., but how will it work in practice?; exposition of the principles of a science &c., as the t. of music; (Math.) collection of results designed to illustrate principles of a subject, as t. of chances, equations. Hence theorist (3), theorization, nn., theorize (2) v.i. [old French] Concise Oxford Dictionary
  16. An idea or hypothesis sufficient to serve as a basis for an explanation or for action. Appleton's medical dictionary.
  17. n. [Latin, Greek] A doctrine or scheme of things which terminates in speculation or contemplation without a view to practice; speculation ;-an exposition of the general principles of any science; - the science distinguished from the art;-the philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral. Cabinet Dictionary

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