Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.
  • noun Something taken to be true for the purpose of argument or investigation; an assumption.
  • noun The antecedent of a conditional statement.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A condition; that from which something follows: as, freedom is the hypothesis of democracy.
  • A proposition assumed and taken for granted, to be used as a premise in proving something else; a postulate.
  • A supposition; a judgment concerning an imaginary state of things, or the imaginary state of things itself concerning whose consequences some statement is made or question is asked; the antecedent of a conditional proposition; the proposition disproved by reductio ad absurdum.
  • The conclusion of an argument from consequent and antecedent; a proposition held to be probably true because its consequences, according to known general principles, are found to be true; the supposition that an object has a certain character, from which it would necessarily follow that it must possess other characters which it is observed to possess.
  • An ill-supported theory; a proposition not believed, but whose consequences it is thought desirable to compare with facts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A supposition; a proposition or principle which is supposed or taken for granted, in order to draw a conclusion or inference for proof of the point in question; something not proved, but assumed for the purpose of argument, or to account for a fact or an occurrence.
  • noun (Natural Science) A tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to guide in the investigation of others; hence, frequently called a working hypothesis.
  • noun See under Nebular.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun sciences Used loosely, a tentative conjecture explaining an observation, phenomenon or scientific problem that can be tested by further observation, investigation and/or experimentation. As a scientific term of art, see the attached quotation. Compare to theory, and quotation given there.
  • noun general An assumption taken to be true for the purpose of argument or investigation.
  • noun grammar The antecedent of a conditional statement.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun 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 a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
  • noun a proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, subject for a speech, from Greek hupothesis, proposal, supposition, from hupotithenai, hupothe-, to suppose : hupo-, hypo- + tithenai, to place; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded since 1596, from Middle French hypothese, from Late Latin hypothesis, from Ancient Greek ὑπόθεσις (hupothesis, "base, basis of an argument, supposition"), literally “a placing under”, itself from ὑποτίθημι (hupotithēmi, "I set before, suggest"), from ὑπό (upo, "below") + τίθημι (tithēmi, "I put, place").

Examples

  • March 6th, 2009 at 9: 27 am nullasalus: But who knows – after all, the Darwin hypothesis is a minority viewpoint, but and the lack of physical evidence leaves considerable doubt.

    An Amazing First Century

  • March 7th, 2009 at 10: 38 am nullasalus: But who knows – after all, the Darwin hypothesis is a minority viewpoint, but and the lack of physical evidence leaves considerable doubt.

    An Amazing First Century

  • But who knows – after all, the Darwin hypothesis is a minority viewpoint, but and the lack of physical evidence leaves considerable doubt.

    An Amazing First Century

  • Are you familiar with the term hypothesis as it is used in science?

    Behe Reveals the DI's Latest Talking Points - The Panda's Thumb

  • However, in common usage, it has come to mean ‘hunch’ or ‘speculation’ what the word hypothesis means in science.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • However, in common usage, it has come to mean ‘hunch’ or ‘speculation’ what the word hypothesis means in science.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • For myself, I think that the evidence most often adduced in favor of the hypothesis is the most persuasive testimony for the other side of the case.

    Demons and Dictionaries

  • For myself, I think that the evidence most often adduced in favor of the hypothesis is the most persuasive testimony for the other side of the case.

    Demons and Dictionaries

  • Senior Vice Finance Minister Yukihisa Fujita, who oversees budget making with Finance Minister Jun Azumi, said at a news conference on Thursday that he hadn't read the IMF report, and declined to assess what he referred to as a "hypothesis" about Japan's finances.

    IMF Warns Japan on Threat of Debt

  • Acipenser, a hypothesis is an answer (a tentative one), not a question.

    Critical Thinking Exercise

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.

    n. Something taken to be true for the purpose of argument or investigation; an assumption.

    n. The antecedent of a conditional statement.

    August 31, 2013

  • In science, a hypothesis is a prediction that can be tested or even a possible solution to a problem

    September 23, 2015