Share this entry

Share this page

hypothetical

Line breaks: hypo|thet¦ic¦al
Pronunciation: /ˌhʌɪpəˈθɛtɪk(ə)l
 
/

Definition of hypothetical in English:

adjective

1Based on or serving as a hypothesis: let us take a hypothetical case
More example sentences
  • Estimates that do exist are based on hypothetical projections from local investigations with questionable validity.
  • The identification of risk starts with considering hypothetical scenarios based on past experience, i.e., the ‘what if’ approach.
  • The analysis was based on a hypothetical cohort of 60-year-old medical patients being treated for acute respiratory failure.
1.1Supposed but not necessarily real or true: the hypothetical tenth planet
More example sentences
  • Of course, it is a mistake to suppose that a hypothetical future state of perfect toleration means toleration in or of the present: far from it.
  • There is no light coming from the casements in the lower part of this hypothetical window - supposing the design to be similar to the other windows.
  • And that's assuming some hypothetical ideal of day care.
Synonyms
1.2 Logic Denoting or containing a proposition of the logical form if p then q.
Example sentences
  • What of hypothetical propositions like if it is raining now, then either it is raining or it is snowing?
  • For some time, legal scholars invoked the dilemma of the ‘equal opportunity harasser’ as a hypothetical paradox.
  • They compared the difficulties of concrete versus abstract and factual versus hypothetical contexts for word problems.

noun

(usually hypotheticals) Back to top  
A hypothetical proposition or statement: officials refuse to discuss military policy except in coy hypotheticals
More example sentences
  • The majority wrongly dismissed these as hypotheticals when in fact such takings are already occurring throughout the country.
  • I might quibble with details of Wax's hypotheticals.
  • This provides some interesting hypotheticals.

Derivatives

hypothetically

1
adverb
[sentence adverb]: hypothetically, varying interpretations of the term are possible
More example sentences
  • This enables me to discuss the issue openly with parents and present their choices for dealing with retained organs practically rather than hypothetically.
  • I touched on this subject briefly, and mostly hypothetically, in my Crime-Facilitating Speech paper.
  • ‘I could talk endlessly, hypothetically, about whether or not they should get together,’ warns Stevenson.

Definition of hypothetical in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pɪət
adjective
lively; cheerful