Definition of in theory in English:

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in theory

Used in describing what is supposed to happen or be possible, usually with the implication that it does not in fact happen: in theory, things can only get better; in practice, they may well become a lot worse
More example sentences
  • The precautionary principle sounds good in theory, but in practice it is a nightmare.
  • Radar also uses microwaves, so that in theory it would be possible to cook food by putting it at the focus of a radar dish.
  • The software makes it possible, in theory, to see and manage files on any storage system or server.
in principle, on paper, in the abstract, all things being equal, in an ideal world;
hypothetically, theoretically, supposedly
See parent entry: theory
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