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Definition of theory:

  1. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
  2. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.
  3. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.
  4. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.


data, outlook, law, provision, code, surmise, plea, approach, system, premise, doctrine, conditions, scheme, rationale, presupposition, reason, dogma, principles, opening, foundation, possible action, assumption, systemization, belief, postulate, method, postulation, argument, hypothesis, thesis, surmisal, basis, philosophy, possibility, possibleness.

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