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Syllabification: hy·po·thet·i·cal
Pronunciation: /ˌhīpəˈTHedək(ə)l

Definition of hypothetical in English:


1Of, based on, or serving as a hypothesis: that option is merely hypothetical at this juncture
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.
theoretical, speculative, conjectured, conjectural, notional, suppositional, supposed, putative, assumed;
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.


(usually hypotheticals) Back to top  
A hypothetical proposition or statement: Finn talked in hypotheticals, tossing what-if scenarios to Rosen
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.



Pronunciation: /-ik(ə)lē/
[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:

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