the·​o·​rem | \ ˈthē-ə-rəm How to pronounce theorem (audio) , ˈthir-əm \

Definition of theorem

1 : a formula, proposition, or statement in mathematics or logic deduced or to be deduced from other formulas or propositions
2 : an idea accepted or proposed as a demonstrable truth often as a part of a general theory : proposition the theorem that the best defense is offense
4 : a painting produced especially on velvet by the use of stencils for each color

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Other Words from theorem

theorematic \ ˌthē-​ə-​rə-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce theorematic (audio) , ˌthir-​ə-​ \ adjective

Examples of theorem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Or, for a more recent example, consider mathematician Andrew Wiles working in his attic for years to prove Fermat’s last theorem before finally announcing his success in 1995. Adam Becker, Scientific American, "Physicists Criticize Stephen Wolfram’s ‘Theory of Everything’," 6 May 2020 The economics of night trains, in Europe and elsewhere, rest on two basic theorems. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Enduring Romance of the Night Train," 4 May 2020 And, in fact, the conjecture is an extension of Fermat’s last theorem. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Guy Says He Solved the Most Controversial Open Problem in Math," 6 Apr. 2020 The theorem, simply put, is this: If physicists have free will while performing experiments, then elementary particles possess free will as well. Siobhan Roberts,, "John Horton Conway, a ‘magical genius’ in math, dies at 82," 19 Apr. 2020 Someone proved the theorem for lengths of 1 and 2, then someone else proved it for 3. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Two Probability Pioneers Just Won the Math Version of the Nobel Prize," 19 Mar. 2020 The collection was inspired by the legendary mathematician Paul Erdős, who envisioned an infinite book in which God had written the perfect proof for each theorem. Quanta Magazine, "The Infinite Primes and Museum Guard Proofs, Explained," 26 Mar. 2018 The difference arises because of a profound theorem proved by mathematician Emmy Noether in 1915. Frank Wilczek, Scientific American, "The Exquisite Precision of Time Crystals," 16 Oct. 2019 These theorems allow researchers to study how systems evolve — even far from equilibrium. Quanta Magazine, "First Support for a Physics Theory of Life," 16 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theorem.' 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 theorem

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for theorem

Late Latin theorema, from Greek theōrēma, from theōrein to look at, from theōros spectator, from thea act of seeing — more at theater entry 1

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Time Traveler for theorem

Time Traveler

The first known use of theorem was in 1551

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Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Theorem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce theorem (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of theorem

technical : a formula or statement that can be proved from other formulas or statements

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theorem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with theorem

Spanish Central: Translation of theorem

Nglish: Translation of theorem for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about theorem

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