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Hypothesis definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

HYPOTH'ESIS, n. [L. from Gr. a supposition; to suppose.]
1. A supposition; a proposition or principle which is supposed or taken for granted, in order to draw a conclusion or inference for proof of the point in question; something not proved,but assumed for the purpose of argument.
2. A system or theory imagined or assumed to account for what is not understood.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations
2: a tentative insight into 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" [syn: hypothesis, possibility, theory]
3: a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence [syn: guess, conjecture, supposition, surmise, surmisal, speculation, hypothesis]

Merriam Webster's

noun (plural hypotheses) Etymology: Greek, from hypotithenai to put under, suppose, from hypo- + tithenai to put more at do Date: circa 1656 1. a. an assumption or concession made for the sake of argument b. an interpretation of a practical situation or condition taken as the ground for action 2. a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences 3. the antecedent clause of a conditional statement Synonyms: hypothesis, theory, law mean a formula derived by inference from scientific data that explains a principle operating in nature. hypothesis implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation <a hypothesis explaining the extinction of the dinosaurs>. theory implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth <the theory of evolution>. law implies a statement of order and relation in nature that has been found to be invariable under the same conditions <the law of gravitation>.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (pl. hypotheses) 1 a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without the assumption of its truth. 2 a supposition made as a starting-point for further investigation from known facts (cf. THEORY). 3 a groundless assumption. Etymology: LL f. Gk hupothesis foundation (as HYPO-, THESIS)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Hypothesis Hy*poth"e*sis, n.; pl. Hypotheses. [NL., fr. Gr. ? foundation, supposition, fr. ? to place under, ? under + ? to put. See Hypo-, Thesis.] 1. A supposition; a proposition or principle which is supposed or taken for granted, in order to draw a conclusion or inference for proof of the point in question; something not proved, but assumed for the purpose of argument, or to account for a fact or an occurrence; as, the hypothesis that head winds detain an overdue steamer. An hypothesis being a mere supposition, there are no other limits to hypotheses than those of the human imagination. --J. S. Mill. 2. (Natural Science) A tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to guide in the investigation of others; hence, frequently called a working hypothesis. Syn: Supposition; assumption. See Theory. Nebular hypothesis. See under Nebular.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(hypotheses) A hypothesis is an idea which is suggested as a possible explanation for a particular situation or condition, but which has not yet been proved to be correct. (FORMAL) Work will now begin to test the hypothesis in rats... = theory N-VAR

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Supposition, theory.

Moby Thesaurus

a priori principle, affirmation, apriorism, assertion, assumed position, assumption, axiom, basis, categorical proposition, conjecture, data, first principles, foundation, ground, guesswork, hypothesis ad hoc, inference, lemma, major premise, minor premise, philosopheme, philosophical proposition, position, postulate, postulation, postulatum, premise, premiss, presumption, presupposal, presupposition, proposition, propositional function, set of postulates, speculation, statement, sumption, supposal, supposing, supposition, surmise, theorem, theory, thesis, truth table, truth-function, truth-value, working hypothesis

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