noun (plural theories)
- 1A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained: Darwin’s theory of evolutionMore example sentences
- Instead, he now requires them to be able to explain the scientific theory of evolution.
- Religious-mystical theories, biological theories and socio-historical theories explain the existence of the caste system.
- In general, this theory attempts to explain when and how people adopt new behaviors.
- 1.1A set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based: a theory of education music theoryMore example sentences
- It was a residential programme which accepted successful applicants for two years of training in the theory of education and practice of teaching.
- What follows foregrounds just some of the implications of biomedicine for the theory and practice of public mental health.
- However, in both the Christian and the Islamic worlds, it was the theory, not the practice of music that held sway as an intellectual pursuit.
- 1.2An idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action: my theory would be that the place has been seriously mismanagedMore example sentences
- And of course my personal theory on this is that women, who do childbirth after all, can handle a lot more pain.
- And of course there is the theory that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a mega-tsunami caused by an asteroid.
- That's only a theory, of course, but one which I'm willing to defend.
- 1.3 Mathematics A collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject.More example sentences
- His mathematical work covered Cartesian geometry and the theory of equations.
- This restriction makes the subject very different from the knot theory traditionally studied by mathematicians.
- Bolzano's theories of mathematical infinity anticipated Georg Cantor's theory of infinite sets.
- 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 worseMore 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.
late 16th century (denoting a mental scheme of something to be done): via late Latin from Greek theōria 'contemplation, speculation', from theōros 'spectator'.