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5 definitions found
 for Theory
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Theory \The"o*ry\, n.; pl. Theories. [F. th['e]orie, L.
     theoria, Gr. ? a beholding, spectacle, contemplation,
     speculation, fr. ? a spectator, ? to see, view. See
     Theater.]
     1. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in
        speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice;
        hypothesis; speculation.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: "This word is employed by English writers in a very
           loose and improper sense. It is with them usually
           convertible into hypothesis, and hypothesis is commonly
           used as another term for conjecture. The terms theory
           and theoretical are properly used in opposition to the
           terms practice and practical. In this sense, they were
           exclusively employed by the ancients; and in this
           sense, they are almost exclusively employed by the
           Continental philosophers." --Sir W. Hamilton.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     2. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any
        science; as, the theory of music.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory
        and practice of medicine.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either
        physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion;
        Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Atomic theory, Binary theory, etc. See under Atomic,
        Binary, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Syn: Hypothesis, speculation.
  
     Usage: Theory, Hypothesis. A theory is a scheme of the
            relations subsisting between the parts of a systematic
            whole; an hypothesis is a tentative conjecture
            respecting a cause of phenomena.
            [1913 Webster] Theosoph

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  theory
      n 1: 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: 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" [syn: hypothesis, possibility,
         theory]
      3: 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"

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  92 Moby Thesaurus words for "theory":
     apprehension, assumption, attitude, base, basis, body of theory,
     climate of opinion, common belief, community sentiment, conceit,
     concept, conception, conclusion, conjecture, consensus gentium,
     consideration, estimate, estimation, ethos, explanation, eye,
     fancy, feeling, general belief, grounds, guess, guesswork,
     harmonics, harmony, hunch, hypothesis, idea, image, imago,
     impression, intellectual object, judgment, lights, melodics,
     memory-trace, mental image, mental impression, mind, music,
     music theory, musicality, musicography, musicology, mystique,
     notion, observation, opinion, perception, perhaps,
     personal judgment, point of view, popular belief, position,
     posture, premise, presentiment, presumption, prevailing belief,
     public belief, public opinion, reaction, recept, reflection,
     representation, rhythmics, sentiment, sight, speculation, stance,
     supposal, suppose, supposition, surmise, suspicion,
     tentative explanation, theoretical structure, there, thinking,
     thither, thitherward, thought, understanding, unified theory, view,
     way of thinking, yon, yonder
  
  

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  theory
   n.
  
      The consensus, idea, plan, story, or set of rules that is currently being
      used to inform a behavior. This usage is a generalization and (deliberate)
      abuse of the technical meaning. ?What's the theory on fixing this TECO
      loss?? ?What's the theory on dinner tonight?? (?Chinatown, I guess.?) ?
      What's the current theory on letting lusers on during the day?? ?The theory
      behind this change is to fix the following well-known screw....?
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  theory
  
     The consensus, idea, plan, story, or set of rules that is
     currently being used to inform a behaviour.  This usage is a
     generalisation and (deliberate) abuse of the technical
     meaning.  "What's the theory on fixing this TECO loss?"
     "What's the theory on dinner tonight?"  ("Chinatown, I
     guess.")  "What's the current theory on letting lusers on
     during the day?"  "The theory behind this change is to fix the
     following well-known screw...."
  
     (1994-12-14)
  

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