Definition of hypothetical in English:

hypothetical

adjective

  • 1Of, based on, or serving as a hypothesis.

    ‘that option is merely hypothetical at this juncture’
    • ‘The preceding description of a hypothetical study is based on the use of traditional endoscopie methods.’
    • ‘And it is to the world that is there that the scientist must go to confirm or disconfirm the hypothetical objects of scientific theory.’
    • ‘Some philosophers have adduced hypothetical examples to support the conclusion that we ought to set the threshold very high.’
    • ‘Estimates that do exist are based on hypothetical projections from local investigations with questionable validity.’
    • ‘I'm just pointing out to you a hypothetical experiment.’
    • ‘However, the onlap interpretation is based on hypothetical time lines in unstudied locations.’
    • ‘Consider these hypothetical examples based on cases I have seen during my work in social services.’
    • ‘But any thoughts of expanding the program are ‘based on hypothetical funding,’ Cecire said.’
    • ‘These situations are not hypothetical; they are based on real stories from faculty members across the country.’
    • ‘The identification of risk starts with considering hypothetical scenarios based on past experience, i.e., the ‘what if’ approach.’
    • ‘In advance of combat, polls filled with hypothetical questions have limited predictive ability.’
    • ‘This term reflects the fact that he developed it through reflection on John Rawls' account of justice as grounded on a hypothetical social contract.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Estimating requires speculation because it is hypothetical.’
    • ‘On this I will defend the use of hypothetical philosophical thought experiments.’
    • ‘The analysis was based on a hypothetical cohort of 60-year-old medical patients being treated for acute respiratory failure.’
    • ‘This program produces a subset of hypothetical products based on the attribute levels provided by the researcher.’
    • ‘For illustrative purposes, various hypothetical cases of age-related cognitive decline will be described and discussed.’
    • ‘The hypothetical question based on the operative report of Dr. Carroll was put to Dr. Winton in these terms by defence counsel.’
    • ‘A hypothetical case explores the legal issues involved.’
    exploratory, investigational, probing, fact-finding, trial and error
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Supposed but not necessarily real or true.
      ‘the hypothetical tenth planet’
      • ‘The study was based on a hypothetical, 40-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant and national averages.’
      • ‘That hypothetical intra-mercurial planet was labeled Vulcan, even though it had yet to be found.’
      • ‘Consider a hypothetical fund that invests only in 10-year T-notes.’
      • ‘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 classic case is that of the hypothetical planets.’
      • ‘I don't think a hypothetical extra tenth to the team total is more important than the emotional well-being of any individual.’
      • ‘The Kuiper belt is a hypothetical massive flattened disc of billions of icy planetesimals supposedly left over from the formation of the solar system.’
      • ‘The sailing rig is hypothetical and based on Roman practice.’
      • ‘And that's assuming some hypothetical ideal of day care.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is good at imagining the details of these hypothetical lives.’
      • ‘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.’
      theoretical, speculative, conjectured, imagined, notional, suppositional
      supposed, assumed, presumed, putative
      made up, unreal
      academic
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Logic Denoting or containing a proposition of the logical form if p then q.
      • ‘They compared the difficulties of concrete versus abstract and factual versus hypothetical contexts for word problems.’
      • ‘What of hypothetical propositions like if it is raining now, then either it is raining or it is snowing?’
      • ‘For some time, legal scholars invoked the dilemma of the ‘equal opportunity harasser’ as a hypothetical paradox.’
      • ‘It is Stoic logic and Boethius's relations to it which give his treatise On hypothetical syllogisms its special interest.’
      • ‘This is the only point in the Socratic Dialogue where hypothetical situations are allowed.’

noun

usually hypotheticals
  • A hypothetical proposition or statement.

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

Pronunciation:

hypothetical

/ˌhīpəˈTHedək(ə)l/