Definition of theoretical adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



[usually before noun]
1 concerned with the ideas and principles on which a particular subject is based, rather than with practice and experimenta theoretical approachtheoretical physicsThe first year provides students with a sound theoretical basis for later study. antonym experimental, practical2 that could possibly exist, happen, or be true, although this is unlikelyIt's a theoretical possibility. theoretically
adverbtheoretically sound conclusionsIt is theoretically possible for him to overrule their decision, but highly unlikely.
Usage noteUsage note: theorytheory noundevelop, formulate|advance, expound, propound|disprove, refute|support|testIn this study, the empirical data do not support current theories.New facts and observations test established theories.hypothesize, posit, postulate, predict, suggestThe theory posits that some character types are better prepared for the challenges of being president.The results of our experiment aligned very closely with that predicted by theory.economic, literary, political, scientific, socialIn economic theory, when there is more competition prices are lower.based onBased on the theory developed in this paper, it is predicted that...theoretical adjectivehighly|largely|merely, purelyAlthough some purely theoretical work has been done, there is a need for empirical research.concept, construct, framework, model|approach, perspective|prediction|studyThe next section outlines the theoretical framework and reviews the prior literature.theoretically adverbdefensible, informed, sound|unsoundThese scientific hypotheses have to be logically and theoretically defensible.