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 However, the 79-year-old senator said the possibility of one of the commonwealth's Senate seats abruptly opening up is only hypothetical. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Mitch McConnell not only backed changing Kentucky's Senate vacancy rules — it was his idea," 30 Mar. 2021 This question is hypothetical (for now), but the Supreme Court on Monday will consider a similar question in Goldman Sachs Group v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Goldman Heads to the Supreme Court," 26 Mar. 2021 This scenario is hypothetical, mind you, but this phenomenon is actually a very material one for Netflix. Andy Meek, BGR, "This important Netflix update will affect so many of you," 22 Mar. 2021 As the chart above shows, the role of national borders in shaping international-trade data is no hypothetical. Joseph W. Sullivan, National Review, "Globalization or Fragmentation? How International-Trade Data Are Biased," 19 Mar. 2021 The future of the filibuster is unlikely to be a hypothetical for long. Rick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, "Biden jolts filibuster debate as voting rights clashes approach: The Note," 18 Mar. 2021 Because there is no direct sequel to Justice League planned, these various cliffhangers are mostly hypothetical, gesturing at a series of films that will probably never come to pass. Ryan Britt, Vulture, "That Snyder Cut Epilogue, Explained," 18 Mar. 2021 While such passports are still hypothetical in most places, Israel became the first to roll out its own last week, capitalizing on its high vaccination rate. New York Times, "Vaccine Passports, Covid’s Next Political Flash Point," 2 Mar. 2021 And while science fiction has offered any number of fantastical examples of armed robots, a growing number of real-world examples illustrate how questions about the use of robotics by military and police forces are not entirely hypothetical. NBC News, "Armed and dangerous? Online art project takes aim at militarization of robotics," 24 Feb. 2021

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

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hypothetical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothetical. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for hypothetical



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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Comments on hypothetical

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