null hypothesis


Definition of null hypothesis

: a statistical hypothesis to be tested and accepted or rejected in favor of an alternative specifically : the hypothesis that an observed difference (as between the means of two samples) is due to chance alone and not due to a systematic cause

Examples of null hypothesis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At present, there is not much of a null hypothesis, according to Allesina. Quanta Magazine, "How Nature Defies Math in Keeping Ecosystems Stable," 26 Sep. 2018 Reaching a null hypothesis often means that an experiment is doomed for nonpublishing—even though null and negative results can teach us just as much as positive results. Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Slate Magazine, "Do Men Eat More Pizza in Front of Women?," 3 Feb. 2017 The p-value actually means that the data in question has less than a 5 percent chance of being the result of chance if the underlying experimental null hypothesis is true. Jeremy Samuel Faust, Slate Magazine, "The Problem With the March for Science," 24 Apr. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of null hypothesis

1935, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about null hypothesis

Statistics for null hypothesis

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for null hypothesis

The first known use of null hypothesis was in 1935

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on null hypothesis Encyclopedia article about null hypothesis

Comments on null hypothesis

What made you want to look up null hypothesis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!