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. —Daniel C. Boice and Walter Huebner, "Physics and Chemistry of Comets," 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
Yet 18 months in, an explanation is nowhere in sight, although hypotheses have proliferated.
Ball’s hypothesis reminds me of the current state of electronic health records (EHRs).
While many theories abound, one of the more popular hypotheses can be traced back to a newspaper column.
As with any new field of scientific study, there are a few alternative hypotheses to explain vEAR.
In fact, the geographic origin of the flu is debated to this day, though hypotheses have suggested East Asia, Europe and even Kansas. 2.
Other more hotly contested hypotheses suppose that stripes may help with predator avoidance or as visual cues for distinguishing zebras from one another, as individuals appear to be uniquely patterned.
Various hypotheses have been proposed, including the idea that dangling gonads are a way to signal virility and good health, but none are satisfactory.
Expressing disregard for the journalists who parse her every move (a hypothesis floated by Vanessa Friedman)?
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.
The Difference Between hypothesis and theory
A hypothesis is an assumption, an idea that is proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested to see if it might be true.
In the scientific method, the hypothesis is constructed before any applicable research has been done, apart from a basic background review. You ask a question, read up on what has been studied before, and then form a hypothesis.
A hypothesis is usually tentative; it's an assumption or suggestion made strictly for the objective of being tested.
A theory, in contrast, is a principle that has been formed as an attempt to explain things that have already been substantiated by data. It is used in the names of a number of principles accepted in the scientific community, such as the Big Bang Theory. Because of the rigors of experimentation and control, it is understood to be more likely to be true than a hypothesis is.
In non-scientific use, however, hypothesis and theory are often used interchangeably to mean simply an idea, speculation, or hunch, with theory being the more common choice.
Since this casual use does away with the distinctions upheld by the scientific community, hypothesis and theory are prone to being wrongly interpreted even when they are encountered in scientific contexts—or at least, contexts that allude to scientific study without making the critical distinction that scientists employ when weighing hypotheses and theories.
The most common occurrence is when theory is interpreted—and sometimes even gleefully seized upon—to mean something having less truth value than other scientific principles. (The word law applies to principles so firmly established that they are almost never questioned, such as the law of gravity.)
This mistake is one of projection: since we use theory in general to mean something lightly speculated, then it's implied that scientists must be talking about the same level of uncertainty when they use theory to refer to their well-tested and reasoned principles.
The distinction has come to the forefront particularly on occasions when the content of science curricula in schools has been challenged—notably, when a school board in Georgia put stickers on textbooks stating that evolution was "a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things." As Kenneth R. Miller, a cell biologist at Brown University, has said, a theory "doesn’t mean a hunch or a guess. A theory is a system of explanations that ties together a whole bunch of facts. It not only explains those facts, but predicts what you ought to find from other observations and experiments.”
While theories are never completely infallible, they form the basis of scientific reasoning because, as Miller said "to the best of our ability, we’ve tested them, and they’ve held up."
Synonym Discussion of hypothesis
- a hypothesis explaining the extinction of the dinosaurs
- the theory of evolution
- the law of gravitation
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
medical Definition of hypothesis
- 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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