theoretically

adverb
the·​o·​ret·​i·​cal·​ly | \ˌthē-ə-ˈre-ti-k(ə-)lē, 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

For the Bavarians, going it alone would theoretically open a path for the CDU to campaign in Bavaria, weakening the CSU’s position. Patrick Donahue, Bloomberg.com, "Five Ways Merkel’s Coalition Crisis Could Blow Up or Blow Over," 15 June 2018 This theoretically allowed researchers to predict the content of dreams based on patterns of brain activity. Charlotte Hawks, CNN, "How close are we to video-recording our dreams?," 4 Apr. 2018 The decision is not final, and complainants will have up to 60 days to appeal to the WTO’s appellate body, which theoretically has another 90 days to issue its judgment. Washington Post, "Australia tobacco-packaging law doesn’t violate WTO rules," 28 June 2018 Study co-author Irina Mordukhovich notes little research has been done on frequent fliers, which could theoretically have similar health concerns. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Flight Attendants Have Higher Cancer Rates, Study Finds," 26 June 2018 So a country with enough enrichment capacity to sustain a small nuclear energy program theoretically has enough throughput to build dozens of weapons. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Uranium enrichment will be a key point in talks with North Korea. Here’s what it is.," 11 June 2018 Under this proposal, the city theoretically has more control in determining a rescue’s legitimacy and, as such, can better adhere to the ban’s intent. Christy Gutowski, chicagotribune.com, "Revised ordinance aims to stop breeders from selling 'rescue' puppies to city shops," 23 May 2018 The law compels cities and counties to zone enough land in their communities to accommodate projected population increases, so theoretically developers have enough places to build. Andrew Khouri, latimes.com, "Could granny flats help ease the state's housing crisis? Some advocates think so," 13 Apr. 2018 Most potential population structures didn’t seem theoretically capable of being strong amplifiers. John Rennie, WIRED, "This Mutation Math Shows How Life Keeps on Evolving," 1 July 2018

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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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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The first known use of theoretically was in 1701

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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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