Definition of hypothetical in English:

hypothetical

adjective

  • 1Based on or serving as a hypothesis.

    ‘let us take a hypothetical case’
    • ‘Some philosophers have adduced hypothetical examples to support the conclusion that we ought to set the threshold very high.’
    • ‘In advance of combat, polls filled with hypothetical questions have limited predictive ability.’
    • ‘The hypothetical question based on the operative report of Dr. Carroll was put to Dr. Winton in these terms by defence counsel.’
    • ‘These situations are not hypothetical; they are based on real stories from faculty members across the country.’
    • ‘And it is to the world that is there that the scientist must go to confirm or disconfirm the hypothetical objects of scientific theory.’
    • ‘Estimating requires speculation because it is hypothetical.’
    • ‘The identification of risk starts with considering hypothetical scenarios based on past experience, i.e., the ‘what if’ approach.’
    • ‘However, the onlap interpretation is based on hypothetical time lines in unstudied locations.’
    • ‘The preceding description of a hypothetical study is based on the use of traditional endoscopie methods.’
    • ‘A hypothetical case explores the legal issues involved.’
    • ‘I'm just pointing out to you a hypothetical experiment.’
    • ‘For illustrative purposes, various hypothetical cases of age-related cognitive decline will be described and discussed.’
    • ‘The analysis was based on a hypothetical cohort of 60-year-old medical patients being treated for acute respiratory failure.’
    • ‘Estimates that do exist are based on hypothetical projections from local investigations with questionable validity.’
    • ‘This program produces a subset of hypothetical products based on the attribute levels provided by the researcher.’
    • ‘Consider these hypothetical examples based on cases I have seen during my work in social services.’
    • ‘In the circumstances, I am unwilling to express a conclusion based on a hypothetical view of the evidence in respect of an issue now academic.’
    • ‘This term reflects the fact that he developed it through reflection on John Rawls' account of justice as grounded on a hypothetical social contract.’
    • ‘But any thoughts of expanding the program are ‘based on hypothetical funding,’ Cecire said.’
    • ‘On this I will defend the use of hypothetical philosophical thought experiments.’
    exploratory, investigational, probing, fact-finding, trial and error
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Supposed but not necessarily real or true.
      ‘the hypothetical tenth planet’
      • ‘Of course, it is a mistake to suppose that a hypothetical future state of perfect toleration means toleration in or of the present: far from it.’
      • ‘The study was based on a hypothetical, 40-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant and national averages.’
      • ‘Consider a hypothetical fund that invests only in 10-year T-notes.’
      • ‘The Kuiper belt is a hypothetical massive flattened disc of billions of icy planetesimals supposedly left over from the formation of the solar system.’
      • ‘And that's assuming some hypothetical ideal of day care.’
      • ‘He is good at imagining the details of these hypothetical lives.’
      • ‘The sailing rig is hypothetical and based on Roman practice.’
      • ‘I don't think a hypothetical extra tenth to the team total is more important than the emotional well-being of any individual.’
      • ‘That hypothetical intra-mercurial planet was labeled Vulcan, even though it had yet to be found.’
      • ‘The classic case is that of the hypothetical planets.’
      • ‘There is no light coming from the casements in the lower part of this hypothetical window - supposing the design to be similar to the other windows.’
      • ‘Her discussion of a hypothetical planet perturbing Uranus in the sixth edition of this work led Adams to his investigation and subsequent discovery of Neptune.’
      theoretical, speculative, conjectured, imagined, notional, suppositional
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Logic Denoting or containing a proposition of the logical form if p then q.
      • ‘This is the only point in the Socratic Dialogue where hypothetical situations are allowed.’
      • ‘What of hypothetical propositions like if it is raining now, then either it is raining or it is snowing?’
      • ‘They compared the difficulties of concrete versus abstract and factual versus hypothetical contexts for word problems.’
      • ‘It is Stoic logic and Boethius's relations to it which give his treatise On hypothetical syllogisms its special interest.’
      • ‘For some time, legal scholars invoked the dilemma of the ‘equal opportunity harasser’ as a hypothetical paradox.’

noun

usually hypotheticals
  • A hypothetical proposition or statement.

    ‘officials refuse to discuss military policy except in coy hypotheticals’
    • ‘This is another one of these stupid columns that has to conjure up hypotheticals in order to criticize.’
    • ‘I don't think that it's really useful to get into hypotheticals about what we may or may not do.’
    • ‘Clarke adds a great deal of color to illustrate his hypotheticals.’
    • ‘But I think it's probably not best to get into hypotheticals here.’
    • ‘The majority wrongly dismissed these as hypotheticals when in fact such takings are already occurring throughout the country.’
    • ‘For instance, suppose - as a hypothetical - that a woman says she was not hired for a particular job due to sex discrimination.’
    • ‘Well clearly, it would either be ended or renegotiated, I mean there's a lot of hypotheticals there.’
    • ‘This provides some interesting hypotheticals.’
    • ‘I don't think I can deal in hypotheticals at this stage.’
    • ‘Or to put it more bluntly, some hypotheticals obscure more than they reveal.’
    • ‘The president keeps wanting to debate fiction or hypotheticals rather than debate the reality of what's on the ground.’
    • ‘Most soldiers won't fit any of these hypotheticals, but they'll fall somewhere near the middle case.’
    • ‘Most of us focus on our own lives and few of us enjoy thinking about horrific hypotheticals.’
    • ‘What makes this hypothetical unusual and unrealistic is the unambiguously objective manifestation of intent in the advertisement.’
    • ‘Of course, Greg is a sensible fellow, so he doesn't confuse such hypotheticals with real-life reality.’
    • ‘And I'm not here to deal with hypotheticals on what might happen in the eventuality of that highly desirable outcome not coming about.’
    • ‘That's the reason why Morris and I are both speaking in hypotheticals.’
    • ‘I have looked, and so far I have heard plenty of hypotheticals, but no actual cases.’
    • ‘I know you hate hypotheticals, but it is a fair question.’
    • ‘I might quibble with details of Wax's hypotheticals.’

Pronunciation

hypothetical

/ˌhʌɪpəˈθɛtɪk(ə)l/