null hypothesis

noun

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

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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.

First Known Use of null hypothesis

1935, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of null hypothesis was in 1935

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