Definition of hypothesis in US English:



  • 1A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

    ‘professional astronomers attacked him for popularizing an unconfirmed hypothesis’
    • ‘All scientists do is try to generalise hypotheses from evidence and then attempt to test them in future.’
    • ‘All of those hypotheses were proposed indirectly and may not be mutually exclusive to each other.’
    • ‘Three hypotheses may be proposed to account for this unanticipated observation.’
    • ‘There are several hypotheses or models proposed to explain how feedback limitation of photosynthesis may be regulated.’
    • ‘The only thing you can do is say the evidence suggests that the hypothesis is true.’
    • ‘In the seventeenth century, a number of hypotheses had been proposed for the origin of fossils.’
    • ‘Several hypotheses can be proposed to explain why variance increases with longer intervals.’
    • ‘Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the number of times segmentation arose.’
    • ‘Well, everyone comes at an investigation with certain hypotheses or certain biases.’
    • ‘I think it's important to note that what I'm proposing here is a hypothesis rather than a conclusion.’
    • ‘The scientific method involves proposing a hypothesis then trying to disprove it.’
    • ‘Embedded within the hypothesis will be concepts that will need to be translated into researchable entities.’
    • ‘All you will ever have is circumstantial evidence and an un-falsifiable hypothesis.’
    • ‘Even a religion that stresses faith above all else seeks evidence to confirm its hypotheses.’
    • ‘Different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the mechanism of attachment.’
    • ‘Almost all were rhetorical or editorial, with some offering explanatory hypotheses or sociological theories.’
    • ‘The conceptual peg hypothesis provides a theoretical explanation of the difference.’
    • ‘This variation is poorly understood, and several hypotheses have been proposed.’
    • ‘We use the emergence of these patterns as hypotheses that may be investigated in real fish schools.’
    • ‘The hypothesis is that the view from the castle will be so spoiled that it will put off visitors.’
    theory, theorem, thesis, conjecture, supposition, speculation, postulation, postulate, proposition, premise, surmise, assumption, presumption, presupposition
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Philosophy A proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth.
      • ‘In what way could the hypothesis that McFadden's process is consciousness be falsified?’
      • ‘Popper consistently has opposed the appeal to inductive arguments to justify hypotheses.’
      • ‘The second example of Hobbes's hypotheses about the physical world which I want to consider is his idea about the nature of light.’
      • ‘If we act as if these ideas were true of reality, then we are led to formulate true hypotheses.’
      • ‘This allows a test of the hypothesis that central tendency determines typicality.’
      reason, reasons, reasoning, thinking, basis, logical basis, logic, grounds, sense
      View synonyms


Late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek hupothesis ‘foundation’, from hupo ‘under’ + thesis ‘placing’.