theory

n. (pl. -ies)
1 a supposition or system of ideas explaining something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the particular things to be explained (opp. HYPOTHESIS) (atomic theory; theory of evolution).
2 a speculative (esp. fanciful) view (one of my pet theories).
3 the sphere of abstract knowledge or speculative thought (this is all very well in theory, but how will it work in practice?).
4 the exposition of the principles of a science etc. (the theory of music).
5 Math. a collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject (probability theory; theory of equations).
Etymology: LL theoria f. Gk theoria f. theoros spectator f. theoreo look at

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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  • theory — theo‧ry [ˈθɪəri ǁ ˈθiːəri] noun theories PLURALFORM 1. [countable] an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain why something happens or how it works: theory of • The book is called An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change . • The theory… …   Financial and business terms

  • Theory m — – A Theory of Leadership Management = Theory M X Y The Theory M style of leadership is one that recognizes that it is necessary to employ a variety of tactics for varying management situations. This type manager / leader is confident in his… …   Wikipedia

  • Theory — The o*ry, n.; pl. {Theories}. [F. th[ e]orie, L. theoria, Gr. ? a beholding, spectacle, contemplation, speculation, fr. ? a spectator, ? to see, view. See {Theater}.] 1. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • theory — theory, social theory A theory is an account of the world which goes beyond what we can see and measure. It embraces a set of interrelated definitions and relationships that organizes our concepts of and understanding of the empirical world in a… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • theory — I noun assumption, belief, conjecture, doctrina, doctrine, dogma, guesswork, hypothesis, ideology, opinion, philosophy, postulate, presupposition, proposition, ratio, speculation, supposition, surmise, thesis, thought, untested opinion, view… …   Law dictionary

  • Theory X — ˌTheory ˈX noun [singular] HUMAN RESOURCES the theory that employees will not work well unless managers pay close attention to their work and control them by encouraging or threatening them * * * Theory X UK US noun [S] ► HR, MANAGEMENT the idea… …   Financial and business terms

  • Theory Y — ˌTheory ˈY noun [singular] HUMAN RESOURCES the theory that employees will generally work well and take responsibility for their own work, if they have the right conditions and rewards * * * Theory Y UK US noun [S] ► HR, MANAGEMENT the idea that… …   Financial and business terms

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  • theory — [thē′ə rē, thir′ē] n. pl. theories [< Fr or LL: Fr théorie < LL theoria < Gr theōria, a looking at, contemplation, speculation, theory < theōrein: see THEOREM] 1. Obs. a mental viewing; contemplation 2. a speculative idea or plan as… …   English World dictionary

  • theory — ► NOUN (pl. theories) 1) a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. 2) an idea accounting for or justifying something. 3) a set of… …   English terms dictionary

  • theory — theory …   Philosophy dictionary

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