thesis

noun
the·​sis | \ ˈthē-səs How to pronounce thesis (audio) , British especially for sense 3 ˈthe-sis\
plural theses\ ˈthē-​ˌsēz How to pronounce theses (audio) \

Definition of thesis

1 : a dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view especially : one written by a candidate for an academic degree
2a : a proposition to be proved or one advanced without proof : hypothesis
b : a position or proposition that a person (such as a candidate for scholastic honors) advances and offers to maintain by argument
3a(1) : the unstressed part of a poetic foot especially in accentual verse
(2) : the longer part of a poetic foot especially in quantitative verse
b : the accented part of a musical measure : downbeat — compare arsis
4 : the first and least adequate stage of dialectic — compare synthesis

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Did You Know?

In high school, college, or graduate school, students often have to write a thesis on a topic in their major field of study. In many fields, a final thesis is the biggest challenge involved in getting a master's degree, and the same is true for students studying for a Ph.D. (a Ph.D. thesis is often called a dissertation). But a thesis may also be an idea; so in the course of the paper the student may put forth several theses (notice the plural form) and attempt to prove them.

Examples of thesis in a Sentence

She wrote her thesis on Renaissance Nativity scenes. a master's thesis on the effects of global warming New evidence supports his thesis. We disagreed with the basic thesis of the report. The book's central thesis is that propaganda influences the masses in important ways.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Matranga wrote his 2002 master’s thesis on how Phish led the way in digital streaming in the early 2000s. John Wenzel, The Know, "Are we just high, or is Colorado the No. 1 market for jam bands?," 9 Sep. 2019 Gottlieb, who’d started out as an agricultural chemist by writing a thesis on cowpeas, joined the agency in 1951. Christopher Tayler, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 19 Aug. 2019 Sankofa is one of the last of four parts of Thomas’ graduate thesis, Visually Rewriting Written History. Quoron Walker, courant.com, "Artist Empowers Through Art," 6 June 2019 This would be of a piece with his larger thesis about American conservatism. Theodore Kupfer, National Review, "The Not So Enigmatic Clarence Thomas," 22 Aug. 2019 Part of the thesis of The Handmaid’s Tale was that at a moment of crisis, with the population dropping to dangerous levels, America would revert back to its puritanical self, stripping away the trappings of the Enlightenment like a costume. Constance Grady, Vox, "The Handmaid’s Tale is ready to burn it all down in season 3," 5 June 2019 Politicians and policymakers on both ends of the political spectrum accepted, implicitly or explicitly, the famous thesis of Francis Fukuyama that there was only one historical road to follow. Kishore Mahbubani, Harper's magazine, "What China Threat?," 10 Feb. 2019 Every day seems to bring new evidence that proves the thesis of my book, that this was an elicit scheme the FBI and the Department of Justice know there was no evidence of collusion. Fox News, "Graham: Democrats are trying to destroy Kavanaugh's life," 17 Sep. 2018 For his senior thesis, David was researching solutions to improve living conditions for people serving time in detention centers. Nicole Santa Cruz, latimes.com, "Two charged in killing of 17-year-old honor roll student," 5 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a(1)

History and Etymology for thesis

in sense 3, Middle English, lowering of the voice, from Late Latin & Greek; Late Latin, from Greek, downbeat, more important part of a foot, literally, act of laying down; in other senses, Latin, from Greek, literally, act of laying down, from tithenai to put, lay down — more at do

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Statistics for thesis

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thesis

The first known use of thesis was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for thesis

thesis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of thesis

: a long piece of writing on a particular subject that is done to earn a degree at a university
formal : a statement that someone wants to discuss or prove

thesis

noun
the·​sis | \ ˈthē-səs How to pronounce thesis (audio) \
plural theses\ -​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of thesis

1 : a statement that a person wants to discuss or prove
2 : an essay presenting results of original research

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More from Merriam-Webster on thesis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thesis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thesis

Spanish Central: Translation of thesis

Nglish: Translation of thesis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thesis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about thesis

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