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

The base thesis is in order to viably replace personal car ownership, people need to have choice. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Uber launches electric scooter service," 3 Oct. 2018 The 160 pages of images of contemporary garments in the exhibition, photographed by Johnny Dufort, that follow prove Bolton’s thesis. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "An Exclusive First Look at the Met’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” Catalog," 3 Apr. 2019 Indeed, this is Mr. MacGregor’s main thesis: that religion, above all, produces community. Andrew Stark, WSJ, "‘Living With the Gods’ Review: The Gang’s All Here," 16 Nov. 2018 For now the point is that tribal antagonism also poses a subtler challenge to his thesis. Robert Wright, WIRED, "Why Pure Reason Won’t End American Tribalism," 9 Apr. 2018 For years comedians, creators, writers, social media commentators, and the new ways of entertainment have only proved MST3K's central thesis—watching and riffing on films is a pastime best spent with friends. Bryan Lufkin, Popular Mechanics, "Can Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thrive in an Age of Snark?," 14 Apr. 2017 That's the central thesis of Johnni Langer, a historian specializing in Old Norse mythology and literature at the Federal University of Paraíba in Brazil. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Wolf’s jaw” star cluster may have inspired parts of Ragnarök myth," 16 Nov. 2018 A few years later, in 1980, as a graduate student in political science at the University of Texas at Austin, Brennan would write his master’s thesis on the state of human rights in Egypt, under the rule of Anwar Sadat. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 Progress on her thesis on Sappho has stalled, and her nearly decade-long relationship has crumbled. refinery29.com, "The Pisces Is The Merman Romance You Need," 2 May 2018

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

11 May 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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