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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The application of technology to situations where demand outstrips supply is a guiding investment thesis for Mr Zhou. The Economist, "China’s Silicon Valley is transforming China, but not yet the world," 11 July 2019 Feldman agrees with Atchley’s central thesis — that people love the dog head and that the Bay Area still fondly remembers Doggie Diner. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area man wants to resurrect the famed Doggie Diner," 5 July 2019 During his final year at Juilliard, Driver first played Pale—appearing opposite his then girlfriend, the actress Joanne Tucker, now his wife—in what was the Juilliard equivalent of a senior thesis. Jason Zinoman, Vogue, "In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place," 15 Apr. 2019 This may seem a startling thesis, but few readers will come to the end of Davenport-Hines’s superb book unconvinced of its soundness. John Banville, The New York Review of Books, "What Made the Old Boys Turn?," 7 Mar. 2019 Tang set to work in the fall of 2017, intending for the recommendation problem to serve as a senior thesis. Quanta Magazine, "Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by Teenager," 31 July 2018 The movie comes off as a too much of a grab-bag, as though the filmmakers shot a bunch of footage with no clear purpose in mind, then retroactively tried to figure out how to fit as much of it as possible into something like a thesis. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "Reviews: Gary Oldman in ‘Killers Anonymous’; plus ‘The 16th Episode’ and more," 27 June 2019 Bad examples like this are pressed into the service of Sunstein’s central thesis in How Change Happens, which is … well, what, exactly? Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "The Sameness of Cass Sunstein," 20 June 2019 Indeed, Madison’s thesis is to some degree the argument of the whole book. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Every invention you use has one thing in common," 18 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thesis

Statistics for thesis

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thesis

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on thesis

What made you want to look up thesis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!