Definition of theoretical in English:

theoretical

adjective

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

Pronunciation:

theoretical

/θɪəˈrɛtɪk(ə)l/