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theory

 
Noun theory has 3 senses
  1. 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"
    --1 is a kind of
    explanation
    --1 has parts: law, law of nature; hypothesis, possibility, theory
    --1 has particulars:
     reductionism; blastogenesis; preformation, theory of preformation; scientific theory; field theory; economic theory; atomism, atomic theory, atomist theory, atomistic theory; holism, holistic theory; structuralism, structural sociology; structuralism, structural anthropology
  2. hypothesis, possibility, 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"
    --2 is a kind of concept, conception, construct
    --2 is a part of theory
    --2 has particulars:
     model, theoretical account, framework; speculation, conjecture; assumption, supposition, supposal
    Derived forms: verb theorize1, verb theorise1
  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"
    --3 is a kind of
    belief
    --3 has particulars: patchwork, hodgepodge, jumble
    Derived forms: verb theorize1, verb theorise1
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