Synonyms & Antonyms of theory

an idea that is the starting point for making a case or conducting an investigation
  • set out to prove her theory that people can't really taste any difference between colas, so they buy according to the product's image

Synonyms for theory

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Frequently Asked Questions About theory

How does the noun theory differ from other similar words?

The words hypothesis and law are common synonyms of theory. While all three words mean "a formula derived by inference from scientific data that explains a principle operating in nature," theory implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth.

the theory of evolution

When would hypothesis be a good substitute for theory?

Although the words hypothesis and theory have much in common, hypothesis implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation.

a hypothesis explaining the extinction of the dinosaurs

When might law be a better fit than theory?

The meanings of law and theory largely overlap; however, law implies a statement of order and relation in nature that has been found to be invariable under the same conditions.

the law of gravitation

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Time Traveler for theory

Time Traveler

The first known use of theory was in 1592

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Cite this Entry

“Theory.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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Nglish: Translation of theory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theory for Arabic Speakers

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