"theory" in the noun sense
a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena
"theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"
"true in fact and theory"
2. hypothesis, possibility, theory
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"
a belief that can guide behavior
"the architect has a theory that more is less"
"they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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