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

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 In that hypothetical scenario, Zimbalist said the $850 million the Bills got wouldn’t necessarily affect the price tag in San Diego. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 This claim is built on a hypothetical scenario that experts say has no basis in reality. Kate S. Petersen, USA TODAY, 11 Feb. 2022 So this second scenario’s hypothetical but can still be helpful to walk through the details of the UFC’s champion’s clause. Paul Gift, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 Fiesler, the Colorado professor, offered a hypothetical scenario of a student pulling a fire alarm to skip an exam. Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2021 The Bay Area’s next big quake will force as many as 1.45 million people from their homes and wipe out nearly 500,000 jobs, according to a hypothetical earthquake scenario completed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Oct. 2021 In this hypothetical seismic scenario, electricity services could be out for weeks, while gas and water service could be interrupted for months. Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 The Cowboys can hold a test run for the hypothetical scenario in which Moore is unavailable at some point during the season. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, 28 Aug. 2021 The second introduced a hypothetical scenario in which CFC emissions held steady at their 1960 levels — not increasing, but not decreasing either. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, 20 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near hypothetical



hypothetical imperative

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Statistics for hypothetical

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hypothetical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothetical. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hypothetical


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

More from Merriam-Webster on hypothetical

Nglish: Translation of hypothetical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hypothetical for Arabic Speakers


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