Definition of theoretical in English:



  • 1Concerned with or involving the theory of a subject or area of study rather than its practical application.

    ‘a theoretical physicist’
    ‘the training is practical rather than theoretical’
    • ‘The preceding chapters have been concerned with the theoretical sciences.’
    • ‘Will there be no work left for theoretical physicists to do in the twenty-first century?’
    • ‘Another area of mathematics that is full of rough estimates is theoretical computer science.’
    • ‘However he was also very active in applications of mathematics to theoretical physics.’
    • ‘His careful study of military affairs had been as much theoretical as practical.’
    • ‘This point is most clear in the area of theoretical science, though it has much broader application.’
    • ‘HNDs are much more vocational than degrees and can often be more practical rather than theoretical.’
    • ‘Studies up to that point were entirely theoretical and lacked any real practical application.’
    • ‘These majors were too theoretical and impractical, so that it would have been hard to find a job.’
    • ‘In theoretical science, we have no reason to suppose that we are ever talking about anything.’
    • ‘Then he could acquire the practical skills to go with his theoretical knowledge.’
    • ‘Oskar Klein died in Stockholm, one of the finest theoretical physicists of the twentieth century.’
    • ‘The two-hour sessions are split in half; the first theoretical, the second practical.’
    • ‘Zhukovskii was concerned both with theoretical and with experimental aspects of the subject.’
    • ‘To do this it is helpful to detail briefly the theoretical framework within which these questions were grounded.’
    • ‘I guess I'm interested in this question more from a theoretical than practical standpoint.’
    • ‘The PR guy said she was tipped as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists of her generation.’
    • ‘Excuse me for for butting in… But does it matter if a theoretical framework is unfalsifiable?’
    • ‘In addition to the theoretical course, he had four years' experience working with horses.’
    not practical, conceptual, abstract, pure
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    1. 1.1Based on or calculated through theory rather than experience or practice.
      ‘the theoretical value of their work’
      • ‘It takes real guts to stop being just a critic of the system and come up with solutions, both practical and theoretical.’
      • ‘Freud constantly revised his theories in view of theoretical concerns and new data.’
      • ‘Galen believed that medicine required both practical and theoretical elements.’
      • ‘It also considers the theoretical and practical powers and constraints on a Prime Minister.’
      • ‘For Marx the unity of theory and practice meant the resolution of theoretical problems by practical activity.’
      • ‘Yet this trend raises a number of important issues, both theoretical and practical.’
      • ‘The concerns of the literati were practical was well as theoretical.’
      • ‘There is a strong theoretical and practical case for free trade and the economic benefits it brings.’
      • ‘His basic research laid the foundation for many later theoretical and practical developments.’
      • ‘These books will be exemplars of empirical study and theoretical understanding.’
      • ‘Now the lost work is regarded as a masterpiece with a theoretical value of £300,000.’
      • ‘Experimental tests with aquatic species have backed up the theoretical predictions.’
      • ‘This is not to suggest that research is entirely dictated by theoretical concerns.’
      • ‘Moreover the concern is an intensely practical one, rather than theoretical.’
      • ‘And he also identified a desire to work on real rather than theoretical problems.’
      • ‘This is, of course, a theoretical calculation, but one which graphically illustrates the point.’
      • ‘The session included experience-based, theoretical, and practical aspects.’
      • ‘Wilson's essay is desperately keen to convey her theoretical vision of the world.’
      • ‘How wonderful it would be if all theoretical conclusion equated with the practical reality.’
      • ‘It is clear that Laurent was a good engineer, putting his deep theoretical knowledge to good practical use.’
      hypothetical, conjectural, academic, suppositional, speculative, notional, postulatory, conjectured, imagined, assumed, presumed, untested, unproven, unsubstantiated
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