- a proposition, or set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.
- a proposition assumed as a premise in an argument.
- the antecedent of a conditional proposition.
- a mere assumption or guess.
Origin of hypothesis
Examples from the Web for hypothesis
Though researchers have struggled to understand exactly what contributes to this gender difference, Dr. Rohan has one hypothesis.9 Ways to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder
December 5, 2014
In 1996, John Paul II called the Big Bang theory “more than a hypothesis.”Even the Pope Isn’t a Hard-Core Creationist
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 28, 2014
This hypothesis was the work of pre-World War II German and Austrian researchers and came of age in the U.S. in the 1950s.Everything You Know About Fat Is Wrong
May 7, 2014
Archeologists call this report “the final shovelful of dirt” on the European hypothesis.Incontrovertible Evidence Proves the First Americans Came From Asia
March 27, 2014
He talks with doctors and scientists who study cognition, and cites a raft of research that bolsters his hypothesis.The Unpersuadables: Why Smart People Believe Crazy Theories
March 16, 2014
Every one must admit, I think, that what Tolstoi has said of the hypothesis of the play is justified.The Man Shakespeare
Either view of the matter will serve one in immediate need of an hypothesis.The Devil's Dictionary
And the construction of any hypothesis whatever is the work of the imagination.A Dish Of Orts
Of the correctness of this hypothesis it is unnecessary to speak.Life: Its True Genesis
R. W. Wright
No hypothesis he could form even remotely approached an explanation.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
- a suggested explanation for a group of facts or phenomena, either accepted as a basis for further verification (working hypothesis) or accepted as likely to be trueCompare theory (def. 5)
- an assumption used in an argument without its being endorsed; a supposition
- an unproved theory; a conjecture
Word Origin and History for hypothesis
1590s, from Middle French hypothese and directly from Late Latin hypothesis, from Greek hypothesis "base, basis of an argument, supposition," literally "a placing under," from hypo- "under" (see sub-) + thesis "a placing, proposition" (see thesis). A term in logic; narrower scientific sense is from 1640s.
- A tentative explanation that accounts for a set of facts and can be tested by further investigation.
- A statement that explains or makes generalizations about a set of facts or principles, usually forming a basis for possible experiments to confirm its viability.
Usage: The words hypothesis, law, and theory refer to different kinds of statements, or sets of statements, that scientists make about natural phenomena. A hypothesis is a proposition that attempts to explain a set of facts in a unified way. It generally forms the basis of experiments designed to establish its plausibility. Simplicity, elegance, and consistency with previously established hypotheses or laws are also major factors in determining the acceptance of a hypothesis. Though a hypothesis can never be proven true (in fact, hypotheses generally leave some facts unexplained), it can sometimes be verified beyond reasonable doubt in the context of a particular theoretical approach. A scientific law is a hypothesis that is assumed to be universally true. A law has good predictive power, allowing a scientist (or engineer) to model a physical system and predict what will happen under various conditions. New hypotheses inconsistent with well-established laws are generally rejected, barring major changes to the approach. An example is the law of conservation of energy, which was firmly established but had to be qualified with the revolutionary advent of quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. A theory is a set of statements, including laws and hypotheses, that explains a group of observations or phenomena in terms of those laws and hypotheses. A theory thus accounts for a wider variety of events than a law does. Broad acceptance of a theory comes when it has been tested repeatedly on new data and been used to make accurate predictions. Although a theory generally contains hypotheses that are still open to revision, sometimes it is hard to know where the hypothesis ends and the law or theory begins. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, for example, consists of statements that were originally considered to be hypotheses (and daring at that). But all the hypotheses of relativity have now achieved the authority of scientific laws, and Einstein's theory has supplanted Newton's laws of motion. In some cases, such as the germ theory of infectious disease, a theory becomes so completely accepted, it stops being referred to as a theory.
plur. hypotheses (heye-poth-uh-seez)
In science, a statement of a possible explanation for some natural phenomenon. A hypothesis is tested by drawing conclusions from it; if observation and experimentation show a conclusion to be false, the hypothesis must be false. (See scientific method and theory.)