Share this entry

theoretical Syllabification: the·o·ret·i·cal
Pronunciation: /THēəˈredək(ə)l/

Definition of theoretical in English:


1Concerned with or involving the theory of a subject or area of study rather than its practical application: a theoretical physicist the training is task-related rather than theoretical
More example sentences
  • This point is most clear in the area of theoretical science, though it has much broader application.
  • HNDs are much more vocational than degrees and can often be more practical rather than theoretical.
  • However he was also very active in applications of mathematics to theoretical physics.
1.1Based on or calculated through theory rather than experience or practice: the theoretical value of their work
More example sentences
  • The session included experience-based, theoretical, and practical aspects.
  • Now the lost work is regarded as a masterpiece with a theoretical value of £300,000.
  • This is, of course, a theoretical calculation, but one which graphically illustrates the point.



Pronunciation: /-ik(ə)lē/
[sentence adverb]: theoretically we might expect this to be true
More example sentences
  • America still theoretically adhered to the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • The number of aberrations observed in these segments was three to five times higher than theoretically expected.
  • So it would be very uncommon for a person to get it from another person, although it is theoretically possible.

Words that rhyme with theoretical

alphabetical, arithmetical, heretical, hypothetical, metathetical, metical, parenthetical, poetical, prophetical, reticle, synthetical

Definition of theoretical in:

Share this entry


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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhôdē
arrogantly superior and disdainful