Definition of hypothesis
2 : a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences
Examples of hypothesis in a Sentence
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
Campus veterans marvel at all the poolside apartments that have sprung up since Georgia popped the income cap off its merit awards. Professors are testing their hypothesis that instead of increasing college enrollment, the state's $1.7 billion scholarship program has been a blessing for the automobile industry—since so many families roll the savings into buying new cars. —Greg Winter, New York Times, 31 Oct. 2002
Isaac Newton initially argued against a parabolic orbit for the … comet of 1680, preferring the hypothesis of two independent comets, one for the inbound and one for the outbound leg. However, Newton later showed that the orbit of the comet could indeed be fit by a parabola. —“Physics and Chemistry of Comets,” Daniel C. Boice and Walter Huebner in Encyclopedia of the Solar System Paul R. Weissman et al., editors, 1999
As stated, our working hypothesis suggests a straightforward way to look for evidence that would confirm or disconfirm it: can you predict what is omitted and what is included in alphabetic representations? —Timothy Shopen and Joseph M. Williams, Standards and Dialects in English, 1980
Other chemists rejected his hypothesis.
Their hypothesis is that watching excessive amounts of television reduces a person's ability to concentrate.
The results of the experiment did not support his hypothesis.
Recent Examples of hypothesis from the Web
That hypothesis has worrisome implications for less skilled workers.
The hypothesis: Genentech’s drug, lampalizumab, essentially offers a back-up method for tamping down the immune reaction.
Just what makes bats special is still unclear; there are many competing hypotheses, from a primitive immune system to echolocation creating droplet clouds that help spread viruses.
There are plenty of different hypotheses about whether the currently happening rise of the machines will be a net positive for humanity or not.
The hypothesis originally driving the study was that NGOs were undermining the Kenyan state.
One concept, called the grand tack hypothesis, casts Jupiter as a wanderer.
But again, a prudent cost/benefit analysis must be completed in order to ensure that their hypothesis is sound.
Matching DNA makes them ideal for testing hypotheses; one sibling can be the control (taking a placebo, for instance, in a medical experiment), while the other functions as an intervention (receiving trial medication).
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypothesis'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of hypothesis
HYPOTHESIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hypothesis for English Language Learners
: an idea or theory that is not proven but that leads to further study or discussion
HYPOTHESIS Defined for Kids
Definition of hypothesis for Students
: something not proved but assumed to be true for purposes of argument or further study or investigation
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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up hypothesis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).