T t


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [thee-uh-ret-i-kuh l]
    • /ˌθi əˈrɛt ɪ kəl/
    • /θɪəˈret.ɪ.kəl/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [thee-uh-ret-i-kuh l]
    • /ˌθi əˈrɛt ɪ kəl/

Definitions of theoretical word

  • adjective theoretical of, relating to, or consisting in theory; not practical (distinguished from applied). 1
  • adjective theoretical existing only in theory; hypothetical. 1
  • adjective theoretical given to, forming, or dealing with theories; speculative. 1
  • adjective theoretical existing only in theory 1
  • adjective theoretical studies: not applied 1
  • adjective theoretical speculative 1

Information block about the term

Origin of theoretical

First appearance:

before 1610
One of the 40% oldest English words
1610-20; theoretic (< Late Latin theōrēticus < Greek theōrētikós, equivalent to theōrēt(ós) to be seen (verbid of theōreîn to view) + -ikos -ic) + -al1

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Theoretical


theoretical popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 80% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

theoretical usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for theoretical

adv theoretical

  • a priori — An a priori argument, reason, or probability is based on an assumed principle or fact, rather than on actual observed facts.

adj theoretical

  • apparitional — of or relating to an apparition or apparitions; ghostly, spectral
  • as a matter of course — If you do something as a matter of course, you do it as part of your normal work or way of life.
  • axiological — the branch of philosophy dealing with values, as those of ethics, aesthetics, or religion.
  • blue sky — fanciful; impractical: blue-sky ideas.
  • conceptual — Conceptual means related to ideas and concepts formed in the mind.

adjective theoretical

  • abstract — An abstract idea or way of thinking is based on general ideas rather than on real things and events.
  • academic — Academic is used to describe things that relate to the work done in schools, colleges, and universities, especially work which involves studying and reasoning rather than practical or technical skills.
  • codified — to reduce (laws, rules, etc.) to a code.
  • conceptive — having the power of mental conception
  • conjecturable — Able to be conjectured upon.

Antonyms for theoretical

adj theoretical

  • actual — You use actual to emphasize that you are referring to something real or genuine.
  • for real — true; not merely ostensible, nominal, or apparent: the real reason for an act.
  • honest injun — honestly (used to emphasize the truth of a statement).
  • honest to god — real or genuine.

adjective theoretical

  • applied — An applied subject of study has a practical use, rather than being concerned only with theory.
  • clinical — Clinical means involving or relating to the direct medical treatment or testing of patients.
  • empiric — A person who, in medicine or other branches of science, relies solely on observation and experiment.
  • empirical — Based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.
  • existential — Of or relating to existence.

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See also

Matching words

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