noun hy·poth·e·sis \hī-ˈpä-thə-səs\

: an idea or theory that is not proven but that leads to further study or discussion

plural hy·poth·e·ses \-ˌsēz\

Full Definition of HYPOTHESIS

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
:  a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences
:  the antecedent clause of a conditional statement

Examples of HYPOTHESIS

  1. Other chemists rejected his hypothesis.
  2. Their hypothesis is that watching excessive amounts of television reduces a person's ability to concentrate.
  3. The results of the experiment did not support his hypothesis.
  4. In contrast to Bingham's hypothesis that Machu Picchu was the birthplace of the first Inca and the hearth area of the Inca civilization, current scholars believe that the city was built as a country estate … —Roger Balm, Focus On Geography, Spring 2004


Greek, from hypotithenai to put under, suppose, from hypo- + tithenai to put — more at do
First Known Use: circa 1656

Synonym Discussion of HYPOTHESIS

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>.
HYPOTHESES Defined for Kids


noun hy·poth·e·sis \hī-ˈpä-thə-səs\
plural hy·poth·e·ses \-ə-ˌsēz\

Definition of HYPOTHESIS for Kids

:  something not proved but assumed to be true for purposes of argument or further study or investigation
Medical Dictionary


noun hy·poth·e·sis \hī-ˈpäth-ə-səs\
plural hy·poth·e·ses \-ˌsēz\

Medical Definition of HYPOTHESIS

:  a proposition tentatively assumed in order to draw out its logical or empirical consequences and test its consistency with facts that are known or may be determined <it appears, then, to be a condition of the most genuinely scientific hypothesis that it be…of such a nature as to be either proved or disproved by comparison with observed facts—J. S. Mill>
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