hypothetical

adjective
hy·​po·​thet·​i·​cal | \ ˌhī-pə-ˈthe-ti-kəl How to pronounce hypothetical (audio) \

Essential Meaning of hypothetical

1 : involving or based on a suggested idea or theory : involving or based on a hypothesis a hypothetical argument/discussion The theory is hypothetical.
2 : not real : imagined as an example She described a hypothetical case to clarify her point. a hypothetical question/situation/example

Full Definition of hypothetical

: involving or being based on a suggested idea or theory : being or involving a hypothesis : conjectural hypothetical arguments a hypothetical situation

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Other Words from hypothetical

hypothetical noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for hypothetical

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of hypothetical in a Sentence

She described a hypothetical case to clarify her point. we talked about what we would do in various hypothetical emergencies
Recent Examples on the Web But in hypothetical questions with Trump not on the ballot, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Pence top the large field of potential contenders in most surveys. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, 3 Oct. 2021 Portugal’s feat has turned the country into a cutting-edge pandemic laboratory - a place where otherwise-hypothetical questions about the coronavirus endgame can begin to play out. Chico Harlan And Mia Alberti, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Oct. 2021 Portugal’s feat has turned the country into a cutting-edge pandemic laboratory — a place where otherwise-hypothetical questions about the coronavirus endgame can begin to play out. Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2021 The fifth question is a hypothetical about how the city should handle a request to open a gas station and convenience store in a neighborhood where residents have concerns about possible negative effects on things such as traffic and noise. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Aug. 2021 The women continued trading barbs before Andy interrupted to ask Kenya a hypothetical question. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, 9 May 2021 The foreign bank account and cryptocurrency questions on Form 1040 have a slightly different role in administering the tax laws than a hypothetical platform work question would. Marie Sapirie, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 Fried, the other leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, performs slightly worse in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with DeSantis. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, 18 Aug. 2021 DeSantis trailed in a hypothetical matchup against Democrat Charlie Crist, though the result was within the margin of error. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Aug. 2021

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

1588, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hypothetical

Time Traveler

The first known use of hypothetical was in 1588

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Dictionary Entries Near hypothetical

hypothesize

hypothetical

hypothetical imperative

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Statistics for hypothetical

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hypothetical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothetical. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for hypothetical

hypothetical

adjective
hy·​po·​thet·​i·​cal | \ ˌhī-pə-ˈthe-ti-kəl How to pronounce hypothetical (audio) \

Kids Definition of hypothetical

1 : involving or based on a hypothesis
2 : imagined as an example for further thought a hypothetical situation

Other Words from hypothetical

hypothetically adverb speaking hypothetically

More from Merriam-Webster on hypothetical

Nglish: Translation of hypothetical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hypothetical for Arabic Speakers

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