- 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
Related Words for hypothesesproposition, conjecture, inference, thesis, explanation, guess, supposition, assumption, rationale, theorem, premise, interpretation, axiom, conclusion, demonstration, ground, layout, basis, system, postulate
Examples from the Web for hypotheses
Contemporary Examples of hypotheses
The whole point of deriving predictions in science is to test models, hypotheses, theories.Evangelicals Still Don’t Know What to Do With the Big Bang
Karl W. Giberson
March 23, 2014
Three individuals whose fervent belief in their inventions, hypotheses, and God led them to take chances others might not.Bible Passages that Could Get You Killed
February 18, 2014
He always read the research literature extensively to generate his hypotheses.How Social Scientists, and the Rest of Us, Got Seduced By a Good Story
April 30, 2013
Agreement between these different kinds of natural clocks leads to confidence in our hypotheses.How Long Is a Year? Is the Earth Slowing Down? And Other Questions About Time
January 6, 2013
The hypotheses they retain in order to preserve the triple-A rating of one while withdrawing it from another?Bernard-Henri Lévy: Downgrade Moody’s!
December 14, 2011
Historical Examples of hypotheses
(Compare the hypotheses and images of Rep.) It is true that it does not attain to the clearness of ideas.Timaeus
Three hypotheses have been advanced regarding the Dhlodhlo building.Impressions of South Africa
It is a mistake to suppose that Buffon was par excellence a maker of hypotheses.
For the factors of the transformation he refers to Lamarck's hypotheses.
The hypotheses of symbolism are even worse; for these may lead to anything.From a Cornish Window
Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
- 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 for hypothesis
plural of 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.)