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How to pronounce hypothetical (audio)


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Dictionary definition of hypothetical

Based on a supposition or assumption, rather than on an actual fact or reality.
"They debated a hypothetical scenario of a world without technology."

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Detailed meaning of hypothetical

It is something that is imagined or supposed, rather than known to be true. A hypothetical situation or question is one that is posed for the purpose of discussion or speculation, rather than as a statement of fact. For example, a teacher might ask students to consider a hypothetical scenario in order to explore a particular concept or principle. In scientific research, a hypothetical can be a theoretical construct, a proposition or a statement that is supposed to explain a phenomenon, this can be later tested by conducting experiments or observing real-world evidence. In everyday usage, the word is often used to describe a situation that is not real or that may never occur, but that is used as a basis for discussion or analysis.

Example sentences containing hypothetical

1. The professor posed a hypothetical scenario to stimulate discussion among the students.
2. The detective considered different hypothetical scenarios to solve the complex case.
3. The scientist presented a hypothetical model to explain the observed phenomena.
4. The speaker used a hypothetical example to illustrate their point.
5. In a hypothetical situation, if I were to win the lottery, I would travel the world.
6. The lawyer posed a hypothetical question to the witness to gauge their response.

History and etymology of hypothetical

The adjective 'hypothetical' has its etymological roots in Greek. It is derived from the Greek word 'hypothetikos,' which is formed from 'hypotithenai' ('hypo-' meaning 'under' or 'beneath,' and 'tithenai' meaning 'to put' or 'to place'). Therefore, 'hypothetical' etymologically signifies something that is 'placed under' as a supposition or assumption. In modern usage, 'hypothetical' describes something that is based on a supposition or assumption, rather than on an actual fact or reality. It emphasizes the speculative and conjectural nature of ideas or scenarios that are not firmly grounded in empirical evidence or confirmed truths, highlighting the imaginative and theoretical aspect of such propositions.

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Further usage examples of hypothetical

1. The team engaged in a hypothetical brainstorming session to explore innovative ideas.
2. The hypothetical experiment allowed the researchers to explore potential outcomes.
3. The politician discussed the hypothetical impact of a policy change on the economy.
4. The class engaged in a lively debate about the hypothetical consequences of time travel.
5. The teacher used a hypothetical problem-solving exercise to challenge the students.
6. The company conducted a hypothetical market analysis to assess potential growth opportunities.
7. The discussion revolved around hypothetical scenarios to prepare for various contingencies.
8. The student presented a hypothetical solution to address a hypothetical problem.
9. The philosopher raised a hypothetical moral dilemma to spark contemplation and debate.
10. The researcher conducted a hypothetical study to explore the potential effects of a new drug.
11. The architect sketched a hypothetical design to visualize the possibilities for the project.
12. The team engaged in a hypothetical discussion about the potential implications of artificial intelligence.
13. The writer crafted a hypothetical story to explore the consequences of a fictional event.
14. The conference included a panel discussion where experts explored hypothetical future scenarios.



speculative, actual, real, factual


Critical and Analytical, Complexity and Intricacy, Irregular and Unpredictable, Thought and Mind

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