noun, plural theses [thee-seez] .
a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.
a subject for a composition or essay.
a dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.
Music. the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. Compare arsis ( def 1 ).
a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.
(less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. Compare arsis ( def 2 ).
Philosophy, See under Hegelian dialectic.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek thésis a setting down, something set down, equivalent to the- (stem of tithénai to put, set down) + -sis -sis

1. antithesis, synthesis, thesis ; 2. dissertation, thesis.

1. theory, contention, proposal. Unabridged

Hegelian dialectic

an interpretive method, originally used to relate specific entities or events to the absolute idea, in which some assertible proposition (thesis) is necessarily opposed by an equally assertible and apparently contradictory proposition (antithesis) the mutual contradiction being reconciled on a higher level of truth by a third proposition (synthesis) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Hegelian dialectic (hɪˈɡeɪlɪan, heɪˈɡiː-)
philosophy an interpretive method in which the contradiction between a proposition (thesis) and its antithesis is resolved at a higher level of truth (synthesis)

thesis (ˈθiːsɪs)
n , pl -ses
1.  a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma
2.  a doctrine maintained or promoted in argument
3.  a subject for a discussion or essay
4.  an unproved statement, esp one put forward as a premise in an argument
5.  music the downbeat of a bar, as indicated in conducting
6.  Compare arsis (in classical prosody) the syllable or part of a metrical foot not receiving the ictus
7.  philosophy the first stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that is challenged by the antithesis
[C16: via Late Latin from Greek: a placing, from tithenai to place]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "unaccented syllable or note," from L. thesis "unaccented syllable in poetry," later "stressed part of a metrical foot," from Gk. thesis "a proposition," also "downbeat" (in music), originally "a setting down or placing," from root of tithenai "to place, put, set," from PIE base *dhe- "to
put, to do" (see factitious). Sense in logic of "a proposition, statement to be proved" is first recorded 1570s; that of "dissertation written by a candidate for a university degree" is from 1650s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

thesis definition

The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Both sides of the argument offer seemingly compelling examples to support their respective theses.
Theses deaths, however, should be blamed on the disaster not the nuclear power plants.
Where he runs into trouble is with two theses that are normally found on the fringes of polite society.
Theses methods can help improve the usability and usefulness of your site.
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