theory noun

ADJ. complete | partial | general Einstein's general theory of relativity | coherent | unified the existence of a grand unified theory that determines everything in the universe | current, new | classical the classical theory of gravity | pet One of her pet theories is that people who restrict their calorie intake live longer. | conflicting | critical | abstract His comments are just abstract theory and show little understanding of the realities of the situation. | economic, legal, linguistic, literary, political, scientific, social, etc. | post-modernist, structuralist, etc. Current feminist theory consists of several different trends. | conspiracy a conspiracy theory about the princess's death | chaos, game, quantum, number, particle, probability, relativity, etc.

QUANT. set Each school has its own set of theories.

VERB + THEORY have, hold | advance, develop, formulate, produce, propose | work on Police are working on the theory that the murderer was known to the family. | refute | confirm, prove | disprove | challenge, test

THEORY + VERB evolve | hold sth, suggest sth

PREP. in ~ In theory, these machines should last for ten years. | ~ about He has a theory about why dogs walk round in circles before going to sleep.

PHRASES theory and practice the distinction/relationship between theory and practice