American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
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. Thus, political economists, in order to explain the phenomena of trade, suppose two or three men, actuated by calculation of interests alone, to be placed on a desert island, or some other simple situation. The perception of how such men would behave constitutes a theory which will explain some observed facts. In precisely the same way, an engineer who has to build a machine or a bridge imagines a structure much more simple than that which he is to make, and from the calculation of the forces and resistances of the ideal structure, which is theory, infers what will best combine economy with strength in the real structure.
- n. An intelligible conception or account of how something has been brought about or should be done. A theory, in this sense, will most commonly, though not always, be of the nature of a hypothesis; but with good writers a mere conjecture is hardly dignified by the name of a theory. Theory is often opposed to fact, as having its origin in the mind and not in observation.
- 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.
- n. countable (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).
GNU Webster's 1913
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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)
“Thermodynamic laws are unified with mechanical theory through an *application of information theory*.”
“I must be a dinosaur too--maybe even more of one, because I have a similar problem even with articles that purport to be about a piece of literature but are really about theory--and only use literature to prove the *theory* correct.”
“This theory, it should be remembered, is _merely a theory_, _a mere notion_, _a hypothesis_.”
“But _your_ theory is _theory_ in the worst sense of the word.”
“Now that we have sufficient evidence from the authorities that carbonic acid can be retained in the blood by excessive breathing, and enough to seriously affect the brain, and what its effects are when taken directly into the lungs in excess, we can enter upon what I have held as the most reasonable theory of the phenomenon produced by rapid breathing for analgesic purposes; which _theory_ was not _first_ conceived and the process made to yield to it, but the phenomenon was long observed, and from the repetition of the effects and their close relationship to that of carbonic acid on the economy, with the many experiments performed upon myself, I am convinced that what I shall now state will be found to substantiate my discovery.”
“Anyway, I wasn’t comparing EW theory or QCD to string theory; I was comparing * gauge theory*, in complete generality, to string theory.”
“I didn’t say an assumption was a theory; I guess someone who can read “Anomaly is simply defined as a period of more than 50 yr of sustained warmth, wetness or dryness, within the stipulated interval ” as meaning ‘warmth, whether wet or dry’ and EXCLUDING consideration of moisture, can also read “The assumption of invariant conditions is a falsifiable assumption embedded within dendrochronological **theory**,” as meaning that ‘assumption’ is synonymous with ‘theory.’”
“Any of these doubters like to say that evolution is “only a theory,” not realizing that, in science, the term theory has a very specific meaning and implies a large amount of supporting evidence as you recently explained in your column.”
“It is also a theory and when people understand how sciences use the term theory, which is more important than facts.”
“I'm not for excluding people - legally - from the body politic which in theory is not religious, from the civil ceremony known as -- yes!”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘theory’.
A collection of words found in English that are either purely Greek or have Greek etymology.
Please add with caution and certainty. Will be regularly updated by me.
The most frequent words in the titles of mathematical books and journals (www.sciencedirect.com)
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From a book about life and death.
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random scientific terms from a group of one hundred 16-18 year olds to choose 100 words that, in their collective opinion, represent crucial factors and concepts influencing trends in science today...
My big word list.
Very basic words for ESL students.
Looking for tweets for theory.