from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
- n. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
- n. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
- n. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
- n. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
- n. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. (logic) 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).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
- n. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science.
- n. The science, as distinguished from the art.
- n. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. At this point we may again for a moment turn aside to consider the so-called Conscious Automaton Theory.
- n. Contemplation.
- n. Perception or consideration of the relations of the parts of an ideal construction, which is supposed to render completely or in some measure intelligible a fact or thing which it resembles or to which it is analogous; also, the ideal construction itself.
- n. An intelligible conception or account of how something has been brought about or should be done.
- n. Plan or system; scheme; method.
- n. In mathematics, a series of results belonging to one subject and going far toward giving a unitary and luminous view of that subject: as, the theory of functions.
- n. Specifically, in music, the science of composition, as distinguished from practice, the art of performance.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a belief that can guide behavior
- n. 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
- n. a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena
Late Latin theōria, from Greek theōriā, from theōros, spectator : probably theā, a viewing + -oros, seeing (from horān, to see).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin theōria, from Ancient Greek θεωρία (theōria, "contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at"), from θεωρέω (theōreō, "I look at, view, consider, examine"), from θεωρός (theōros, "spectator"), from θέα (thea, "a view") + ὁράω (horaō, "I see,look"). (Wiktionary)