Meaning of theory

the•o•ry

Pronunciation: (thē'u-rē, thēr'ē), [key]
— pl. -ries.
  1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity.
  2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
  3. a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.
  4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.
  5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles.
  6. contemplation or speculation.
  7. guess or conjecture.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: