[ thee-uh-ret-i-kuh l ]
/ ˌθi əˈrɛt ɪ kəl /


of, relating to, or consisting in theory; not practical (distinguished from applied).
existing only in theory; hypothetical.
given to, forming, or dealing with theories; speculative.

Nearby words

  1. theorbo,
  2. theorell,
  3. theorell, axel hugo teodor,
  4. theorem,
  5. theoretic,
  6. theoretical arithmetic,
  7. theoretically,
  8. theoretician,
  9. theoretics,
  10. theorist

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 forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for theoretically

British Dictionary definitions for theoretically


theoretic (ˌθɪəˈrɛtɪk)

/ (ˌθɪəˈrɛtɪkəl) /


of or based on theory
lacking practical application or actual existence; hypothetical
using or dealing in theory; impractical
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 theoretically



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for theoretically


[ thē′ə-rĕtĭ-kəl ]


Of, relating to, or based on theory.
Restricted to theory; not practical.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.