• synonyms


[thee-uh-ret-i-kuh l]
See more synonyms for theoretical on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, relating to, or consisting in theory; not practical (distinguished from applied).
  2. existing only in theory; hypothetical.
  3. given to, forming, or dealing with theories; speculative.
Show More
Often the·o·ret·ic.

Origin of theoretical

1610–20; theoretic (< Late Latin theōrēticus < Greek theōrētikós, equivalent to theōrēt(ós) to be seen (verbid of theōreîn to view) + -ikos -ic) + -al1
Related formsthe·o·ret·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·the·o·ret·i·cal, adjectivean·ti·the·o·ret·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·the·o·ret·ic, adjectivenon·the·o·ret·i·cal, adjectivenon·the·o·ret·i·cal·ly, adverbun·the·o·ret·ic, adjectiveun·the·o·ret·i·cal, adjectiveun·the·o·ret·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for theoretic

Historical Examples

  • Speculative or theoretic knowledge is divided into abstract and concrete.

    Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 3 of 3)

    John Morley

  • Up to the present the knowledge that she possessed it had been theoretic only.

  • Its own theoretic level, or at least the quest for a theory, is discarded as frivolous.

  • This theoretic inference is completely verified by experiment.

  • These theoretic subtleties were unintelligible to the people of France.

    Lectures on the French Revolution

    John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

British Dictionary definitions for theoretic


  1. another word for theoretical
Show More
  1. another word for theoretics
Show More


theoretic (ˌθɪəˈrɛtɪk)

  1. of or based on theory
  2. lacking practical application or actual existence; hypothetical
  3. using or dealing in theory; impractical
Show More
Derived Formstheoretically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for theoretic



1610s, from Late Latin theoreticus "of or pertaining to theory," from Greek theoretikos "contemplative, pertaining to theory" (by Aristotle contrasted to praktikos), from theoretos "that may be seen or considered," from theorein "to consider, look at" (see theory). Related: Theoretically.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

theoretic in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or based on theory.
  2. Restricted to theory; not practical.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.