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 Duverger’s Law—the theorem of the twentieth-century French political scientist Maurice Duverger that single-member districts lead to the existence of two-party systems—still holds. Michael Tomasky, The New York Review of Books, "The Party Cannot Hold," 27 Feb. 2020 Then Ijjas found a bounce mechanism that evades the no-go theorem. Quanta Magazine, "How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back," 31 Jan. 2018 Newly minted professors André Weil and Henri Cartan wanted a rigorous method to teach Stokes’ theorem, a key result of calculus. David Gunderman, The Conversation, "Nicolas Bourbaki: The greatest mathematician who never was," 7 Dec. 2019 In the application relevant here, Noether's theorem states that τ is basically equivalent to the conservation of energy. Frank Wilczek, Scientific American, "The Exquisite Precision of Time Crystals," 16 Oct. 2019 Using the waves to measure the frequencies of those fleeting oscillations provides a way to test the no-hair theorem. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Black hole reverberations suggest the cosmic beasts are as ‘bald’ as cue balls," 13 Sep. 2019 Similarly, the famous four-color theorem can also be stated in terms of chromatic polynomials. Quanta Magazine, "Color Me Polynomial," 13 Aug. 2019 The combination of quantum mechanics with relativity theory rules out particles: according to several mathematical theorems, nothing can be localized in the way that the traditional concept of a particle implies. George Musser, Scientific American, "The Search for Truth in Physics," 25 Aug. 2019 So the theorem can be stated: If more than two islands have an odd number of bridges, then the bridges problem has no solution. Dave Linkletter, Popular Mechanics, "How to Mow Your Lawn Using Math," 16 Aug. 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

15 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Theorem.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Apr. 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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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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