theorem

noun
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 theorematic (audio) , ˌthir-​ə-​ \ adjective

Examples of theorem in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Schrödinger’s theorem described the wave function of quantum-mechanical systems. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Searching for Myself in Alice Neel’s Radical Portraits," 26 Feb. 2019 Adam Smith, ever the British empiricist, would not have approved of reliance on blackboard theorems. Deirdre Mccloskey, WSJ, "‘Adam Smith: Father of Economics’ Review: Obvious, Simple and Wise," 7 Sep. 2018 Interestingly enough, Kruskal's tree theorem required non-finite mathmatics to prove, using advanced techniques such as transfinite arithmetic and ordinal numbers. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Wrap Your Head Around the Enormity of the Number TREE(3)," 20 Oct. 2017 Museum staffers counted the number of glow sticks on each side of the building to prove that the skyscraper conformed to the theorem. Joshua A. Krisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Pythagorean Party at the Flatiron Building," 6 Dec. 2013 The problem came to be called the ultraviolet catastrophe, because the best theorem of the day predicted that objects heated to very high temperatures should spew infinite amounts of short-wavelength energy. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 The prime number theorem and Riemann hypothesis get the attention and the money, but both followed up on earlier, less glamorous data analysis. ..... Martin H. Weissman, Smithsonian, "Why Prime Numbers Still Surprise and Mystify Mathematicians," 2 Apr. 2018 To understand their thinking, consider that classic political science concept: the median voter theorem. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The top-two primary could lock out Democrats from key House races.," 5 June 2018 Stonehenge secret: Did builders use Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before the philosopher lived? Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Remembering Charles Krauthammer; Melania's fashion 'statement' sparks 'fake news' frenzy," 22 June 2018

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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Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for theorem

The first known use of theorem was in 1551

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More Definitions for theorem

theorem

noun

English Language Learners Definition of theorem

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on theorem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with theorem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theorem

Spanish Central: Translation of theorem

Nglish: Translation of theorem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about theorem

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