hypothetical: a what-if scenario.
a hypothetical case or situation; conjecture: a series of what-ifs.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use what-if in a sentence
That is, when things are going well, no one feels compelled to spend money on a what-if project.What to Do With the Thousands Displaced by Hurricane Sandy? | Malcolm Jones | November 8, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Take concrete steps aimed at addressing the problem that looms, rather than ruminating abstractly about what-if scenarios.
British Dictionary definitions for what-if
informal a hypothetical question; speculation: one of the great what-ifs of modern history
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with what-if
Suppose that, as in What if the speaker doesn't get here in time? This expression is in effect a shortening of “what would happen if.” It was first recorded about 1420.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.