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English Dictionary: hypothesis by the DICT Development Group
2 results for hypothesis
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
  1. a proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations
  2. a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"
    Synonym(s): hypothesis, possibility, theory
  3. a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
    Synonym(s): guess, conjecture, supposition, surmise, surmisal, speculation, hypothesis
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Hypothesis \Hy*poth"e*sis\, n.; pl. {Hypotheses}. [NL., fr. Gr.
      [?] foundation, supposition, fr. [?] to place under, [?]
      under + [?] to put. See {Hypo-}, {Thesis}.]
      1. A supposition; a proposition or principle which is
            supposed or taken for granted, in order to draw a
            conclusion or inference for proof of the point in
            question; something not proved, but assumed for the
            purpose of argument, or to account for a fact or an
            occurrence; as, the hypothesis that head winds detain an
            overdue steamer.
                     An hypothesis being a mere supposition, there are no
                     other limits to hypotheses than those of the human
                     imagination.                                       --J. S. Mill.
      2. (Natural Science) A tentative theory or supposition
            provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to
            guide in the investigation of others; hence, frequently
            called a working hypothesis.
      Syn: Supposition; assumption. See {Theory}.
      {Nebular hypothesis}. See under {Nebular}.
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