n.1.A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
2.An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.
3.The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.
4.The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.
Atomic theory
etc. See under Atomic, Binary, etc.
Noun1.theory - a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"
2.theory - a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"
3.theory - a belief that can guide behavior; "the architect has a theory that more is less"; "they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales"
theory - The consensus, idea, plan, story, or set of rules that is currently being used to inform a behaviour. This usage is a generalisation and (deliberate) abuse of the technical meaning. "What's the theory on fixing this TECO loss?" "What's the theory on dinner tonight?" ("Chinatown, I guess.") "What's the current theory on letting lusers on during the day?" "The theory behind this change is to fix the following well-known screw...."
apprehension, attitude, base, basis, body of theory, climate of opinion, common belief, community sentiment, conceit, concept, conception, conclusion, conjecture, consensus gentium, consideration, estimate, estimation, ethos, explanation, eye, fancy, feeling, general belief, grounds, guesswork, harmonics, harmony, hunch, hypothesis, idea, image, imago, impression, intellectual object, judgment, lights, melodics, memory-trace, mental image, mental impression, mind, music, music theory, musicality, musicography, musicology, mystique, notion, observation, opinion, perception, perhaps, personal judgment, point of view, popular belief, position, posture, premise, presentiment, presumption, prevailing belief, public belief, public opinion, reaction, recept, reflection, representation, rhythmics, sentiment, sight, speculation, stance, supposal, suppose, supposition, surmise, suspicion, tentative explanation, theoretical structure, there, thinking, thither, thitherward, thought, understanding, unified theory, view, way of thinking, yon, yonder
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theoretical account
-- Theory --
theory change
Theory of chances
theory of dissociation
theory of electrolytic dissociation
Theory of equations
theory of evolution
theory of games
theory of gravitation
theory of gravity
theory of indicators
theory of inheritance
theory of organic evolution
theory of preformation
theory of punctuated equilibrium
theory of relativity
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