hy·​po·​thet·​i·​cal | \ ˌhī-pə-ˈthe-ti-kəl How to pronounce hypothetical (audio) \

Definition of hypothetical

: involving or being based on a suggested idea or theory : being or involving a hypothesis : conjectural hypothetical arguments a hypothetical situation

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Other Words from hypothetical

hypothetical noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for hypothetical



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Examples of hypothetical in a Sentence

She described a hypothetical case to clarify her point. we talked about what we would do in various hypothetical emergencies
Recent Examples on the Web Of course, understanding all this requires specialized training in mathematics and physics, but here is a whimsical situation in a toy universe that shows how the properties of a hypothetical particle can influence the laws of the universe. Quanta Magazine, "Did the Chicken Come First or Is It Turtles All the Way Down?," 6 Feb. 2020 And SpaceX's plans are not just hypothetical; Elon Musk's company has already launched several 60-satellite Starlink batches. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "Looming Potential Satellite Smashup Could Spawn Dangerous Debris Swarm," 29 Jan. 2020 Consider the following hypothetical example, says Stephen Flanagan, a specialist on eastern Europe at America’s National Security Council during Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. The Economist, "How the Baltic states spot the Kremlin’s agents," 1 Aug. 2019 The hypothetical continued in a later question, from Republican Sens. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Questioning Phase of Trump’s Impeachment Trial Begins," 29 Jan. 2020 But multiple sources tell CBS News Transportation Correspondent Kris Van Cleave that is a hypothetical at best, since Boeing hasn't determined whether that scenario could actually occur in flight. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, "FAA checking potentially "catastrophic" issue with 737 Max wiring," 6 Jan. 2020 On the contrary, only the second hypothetical keeps constant all the details that reasonable readers of Title VII would deem relevant based on the law’s text, logic, and history. Robert P. George, National Review, "Counterfeit Textualism," 19 Nov. 2019 The poll also showed Hickenlooper leading Gardner in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up, 53% to 42%. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Majority of Colorado voters support Trump impeachment inquiry and nearly half back removal from office, poll finds," 17 Oct. 2019 The Hotline occasionally ventures into the realm of the hypothetical. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Power ratings: The case for Cal (yes, Cal) winning the North," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypothetical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hypothetical

1588, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hypothetical

Time Traveler

The first known use of hypothetical was in 1588

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Statistics for hypothetical

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hypothetical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothetical. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce hypothetical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hypothetical

: involving or based on a suggested idea or theory : involving or based on a hypothesis
: not real : imagined as an example


hy·​po·​thet·​i·​cal | \ ˌhī-pə-ˈthe-ti-kəl How to pronounce hypothetical (audio) \

Kids Definition of hypothetical

1 : involving or based on a hypothesis
2 : imagined as an example for further thought a hypothetical situation

Other Words from hypothetical

hypothetically adverb speaking hypothetically

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