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
3 : stencil
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 theorem (audio) , ˌthir-​ə-​ \ adjective

Examples of theorem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, these conditions violate the rational root theorem, which says that any rational roots of a polynomial must be a ratio of a factor of the constant term divided by a factor of the leading coefficient. Quanta Magazine, 18 Nov. 2020 Guided by the scallop theorem, physicists have been trying to devise the simplest mechanical swimmers. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, 13 May 2021 Though there are many proofs of this theorem, the most intuitive is a very simple little drawing that Conway included in a lecture published in a book in 2005. Jean-paul Delahaye, Scientific American, 28 Apr. 2021 But Noether also proved a brilliant theorem making a connection between pure math and physics. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2021 Filaseta and Juillerat proved their theorem in two stages. Quanta Magazine, 30 Mar. 2021 This led him to a crucial result about the geometry of black holes, known as Hawking’s area theorem. James Gleick, The New York Review of Books, 13 Apr. 2021 But all those were dwarfed by his singular contribution, the Atiyah-Singer Index theorem. New York Times, 12 Feb. 2021 The circle of mathematical ideas around the Atiyah-Singer theorem grew in the ensuing years. Quanta Magazine, 4 Mar. 2021

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

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The first known use of theorem was in 1551

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Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Theorem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of theorem

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

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