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theory US English

A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained

theory US Thesaurus

I reckon that confirms my theory

theory New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

supposition or system of ideas

in theory US English

Used in describing what is supposed to happen or be possible, usually with the implication that it does not in fact happen

Bohr theory US English

A theory of the structure of atoms stating that electrons revolve in discrete orbits around a positively charged nucleus and that radiation is given off or absorbed only when an electron moves from one orbit to another

game theory US English

The branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. Game theory has been applied to contexts in war, business, and biology

set theory US English

The branch of mathematics that deals with the formal properties of sets as units (without regard to the nature of their individual constituents) and the expression of other branches of mathematics in terms of sets

wave theory US English

The theory that light is propagated through the ether by a wave motion imparted to the ether by the molecular vibrations of the radiant body

atomic theory US English

The theory that all matter is made up of tiny indivisible particles (atoms). According to the modern version, the atoms of each element are effectively identical, but differ from those of other elements, and unite to form compounds in fixed proportions

chaos theory US English

The branch of mathematics that deals with complex systems whose behavior is highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions, so that small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences

domino theory US English

The theory that a political event in one country will cause similar events in neighboring countries, like a falling domino causing an entire row of upended dominoes to fall

field theory US English

A theory that explains physical phenomena in terms of a field and the manner in which it interacts with matter or with other fields

Galois theory US English

A method of applying group theory to the solution of algebraic equations

gauge theory US English

A quantum theory using mathematical functions to describe subatomic interactions in terms of particles that are not directly detectable

graph theory US English

The mathematical theory of the properties and applications of graphs

number theory US English

The branch of mathematics that deals with the properties and relationships of numbers, especially the positive integers

string theory US English

A cosmological theory based on the existence of cosmic strings

theory-laden US English

Denoting a term, concept, or statement that has meaning only as part of some theory, so that its use implies the acceptance of that theory

critical theory US English

A philosophical approach to culture, and especially to literature, that seeks to confront the social, historical, and ideological forces and structures that produce and constrain it. The term is applied particularly to the work of the Frankfurt School

decision theory US English

The mathematical study of strategies for optimal decision-making between options involving different risks or expectations of gain or loss depending on the outcome

kinetic theory US English

The body of theory that explains the physical properties of matter in terms of the motions of its constituent particles

quantity theory US English

The hypothesis that changes in prices correspond to changes in the monetary supply

quantum theory US English

A theory of matter and energy based on the concept of quanta, especially quantum mechanics

attribution theory US English

A theory that supposes that one attempts to understand the behavior of others by attributing feelings, beliefs, and intentions to them

catastrophe theory US English

A branch of mathematics concerned with systems displaying abrupt discontinuous change

conspiracy theory US English

A belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event

information theory US English

The mathematical study of the coding of information in the form of sequences of symbols, impulses, etc., and of how rapidly such information can be transmitted, e.g., through computer circuits or telecommunications channels

probability theory US English

The branch of mathematics that deals with quantities having random distributions

communication theory US English

The branch of knowledge dealing with the principles and methods by which information is conveyed

correspondence theory US English

The theory that states that the definition or criterion of truth is that true propositions correspond to the facts

recapitulation theory US English

Another term for biogenetic law.

theory of games US English

Another term for game theory.

grand unified theory US English

A theory attempting to give a single explanation of the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions between subatomic particles

quantum field theory US English

A field theory that incorporates quantum mechanics and the principles of the theory of relativity

unified field theory US English

A theory that describes two or more of the four interactions (electromagnetic, gravitational, weak, and strong) previously described by separate theories

labour theory of value US English

The Marxist theory that the value of a commodity should be determined by the amount of human labour used in its production

in theory in theory US English

Used in describing what is supposed to happen or be possible, usually with the implication that it does not in fact happen

games theory in game theory US English

The branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. Game theory has been applied to contexts in war, business, and biology

in theory in theory US Thesaurus

in theory, your idea sounds great, but can it be practically applied?

nebular hypothesis US English

The theory that the solar and stellar systems were developed from a primeval nebula

nebular theory in nebular hypothesis US English

The theory that the solar and stellar systems were developed from a primeval nebula

Ptolemaic system US English

The theory that the earth is the stationary center of the universe, with the planets moving in epicyclic orbits within surrounding concentric spheres

Ptolemaic theory in Ptolemaic system US English

The theory that the earth is the stationary center of the universe, with the planets moving in epicyclic orbits within surrounding concentric spheres


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