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hypothetical

[hahy-puh-thet-i-kuh l] /ˌhaɪ pəˈθɛt ɪ kəl/
adjective, Also, hypothetic (for defs 1–4).
1.
assumed by hypothesis; supposed:
a hypothetical case.
2.
of, pertaining to, involving, or characterized by hypothesis:
hypothetical reasoning.
3.
given to making hypotheses.
4.
Logic.
  1. (of a proposition) highly conjectural; not well supported by available evidence.
  2. (of a proposition or syllogism) conditional.
noun
5.
a hypothetical situation, instance, etc.:
The Secretary of Defense refused to discuss hypotheticals with the reporters.
Origin of hypothetical
1580-1590
1580-90; < Greek hypothetik(ós) supposed (hypo- hypo- + the- put (base of tithénai to put, do1) + -tikos -tic) + -al1
Related forms
hypothetically, adverb
unhypothetical, adjective
unhypothetically, adverb
Synonyms
1. suppositional, theoretical, speculative.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hypothetical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is a hypothetical person used for purposes of illustration and simplification.

  • It was a hypothetical condition which he had never even considered.

    The Daffodil Mystery Edgar Wallace
  • For why in the world should she share with Mrs. Vanderstein the attentions of any hypothetical criminal?

    Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels Mrs. Charles Bryce
  • This idea is le bien public, the hypothetical welfare of other people.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • As has been stated, back of the period of primitive childish ideas there lies a hypothetical state of mental nothingness.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
British Dictionary definitions for hypothetical

hypothetical

/ˌhaɪpəˈθɛtɪkəl/
adjective
1.
having the nature of a hypothesis
2.
assumed or thought to exist
3.
(logic) another word for conditional (sense 4)
4.
existing only as an idea or concept: a time machine is a hypothetical device
Derived Forms
hypothetically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hypothetical
adj.

1580s, from Greek hypothetikos "pertaining to a hypothesis," from hypothesis (see hypothesis). Related: Hypothetically; hypothetic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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