Definitions

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

  • noun A proposition that is maintained by argument.
  • noun A dissertation advancing an original point of view as a result of research, especially as a requirement for an academic degree.
  • noun A hypothetical proposition, especially one put forth without proof.
  • noun The first stage of the Hegelian dialectic process.
  • noun The long or accented part of a metrical foot, especially in quantitative verse.
  • noun The unaccented or short part of a metrical foot, especially in accentual verse.
  • noun Music The accented section of a measure.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The formulation in advance of a proposition to be proved; a position; a proposition which one advances and offers to maintain by argument against objections.
  • noun Hence An essay or dissertation upon a specific or definite theme, as an essay presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree, as for that of doctor.
  • noun A theme; a subject propounded for a school or college exercise; the exercise itself.
  • noun A premise assumed and not proved, although not self-evident; either a postulate or a definition.
  • noun The consequent of a hypothetical proposition.
  • noun In musical rhythmics, a heavy accent, such as in beating time is marked by a down-beat. See rhythm.
  • noun In prosody: Originally, and in more correct recent usage, that part of a foot which receives the ictus, or metrical stress.
  • noun In prevalent modern usage, the metrically unaccented part of a foot. See arsis, 1.
  • noun In ancient rhetoric, a general question, not limited to special persons and circumstances: opposed to a hypothesis, or question which is so limited.
  • noun In rhetoric, the part of a sentence preceding and correlated to the antithesis.
  • noun Synonyms Topic, Point, etc. See subject.

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

  • noun A position or proposition which a person advances and offers to maintain, or which is actually maintained by argument.
  • noun Hence, an essay or dissertation written upon specific or definite theme; especially, an essay presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.
  • noun (Logic) An affirmation, or distinction from a supposition or hypothesis.
  • noun (Mus.) The accented part of the measure, expressed by the downward beat; -- the opposite of arsis.
  • noun The depression of the voice in pronouncing the syllables of a word.
  • noun The part of the foot upon which such a depression falls.

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

  • noun A statement supported by arguments.
  • noun A written essay, especially one submitted for a university degree.
  • noun logic An affirmation, or distinction from a supposition or hypothesis.
  • noun music The accented part of the measure, expressed by the downward beat; the opposite of arsis.
  • noun poetry The depression of the voice in pronouncing the syllables of a word.
  • noun poetry The part of the metrical foot upon which such a depression falls.

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

  • noun a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree
  • noun an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument

Etymologies

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

[Latin, from Greek, from tithenai, to put; see dhē- in Indo-European roots. Senses 5 and 6, Middle English, from Late Latin, lowering of the voice, from Greek, downbeat.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin thesis, from Ancient Greek θέσις (thesis, "a proposition, a statement, a thing laid down, thesis in rhetoric, thesis in prosody")

Examples

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