the·​o·​ret·​i·​cal·​ly | \ ˌthē-ə-ˈre-ti-k(ə-)lē How to pronounce theoretically (audio) , ˌthir-ˈe-ti- \

Definition of theoretically

1 : according to an ideal or assumed set of facts or principles : in theory
2 : in a theoretical way

Examples of theoretically in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With the economy reopening, that number should have tapered off by now, labor market analysts say, since millions of people who were furloughed or laid off are theoretically returning to their job. NBC News, "Weekly unemployment claims remain high, amid second wave of layoffs," 18 June 2020 Even for those who live in urban areas that theoretically have better broadband coverage, connectivity can be a challenge. Bob O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Can 5G help make it easier to work from home?," 17 June 2020 This intercity rapid transportation project, originally announced in 2013 and dubbed the Hyperloop, would theoretically be accomplished by building autonomous, electric pods that would carry passengers at up to 600 miles per hour. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Elon Musk's tunnel project hit a milestone. But the future is unclear.," 12 June 2020 People can be rigorously tested (theoretically) to make sure that carriers of the virus come nowhere near the church. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: Can We Sing?," 10 June 2020 And so, the progress illusion is theoretically interesting as a way to test if motivation is about real goal proximity or subjective perception. Kassie Brabaw, Scientific American, "Why Feeling Close to the Finish Line Makes You Push Harder," 9 June 2020 This means that a swarm originating in Yemen could theoretically hit India in just two weeks. Popular Science, "An unprecedented locust swarm is creating unlikely allies," 7 June 2020 This rear-deploying titanium head is unique in that the blades, once opened, lock together and pivot with the ferrule, theoretically steering around heavy bone and aiding penetration. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "The Best New Broadheads of the Year," 5 June 2020 Nations at this year’s conference were supposed to submit long-term pollution goals that would (theoretically) put the world on track to have emissions peak by mid-century. Josh Petri,, "Climate and Pandemic Models Speak Louder Than Words," 12 May 2020

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

1701, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for theoretically

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The first known use of theoretically was in 1701

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Statistics for theoretically

Last Updated

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Theoretically.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on theoretically

Nglish: Translation of theoretically for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theoretically for Arabic Speakers

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