English edit

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Etymology edit

Recorded since 1596, from Middle French hypothese, from Late Latin hypothesis, from Ancient Greek ὑπόθεσις (hupóthesis, base, basis of an argument, supposition, literally a placing under), itself from ὑποτίθημι (hupotíthēmi, I set before, suggest), from ὑπό (hupó, below) + τίθημι (títhēmi, I put, place).

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /haɪˈpɒθɪsɪs/, /hɪˈpɒθɪsɪs/, /həˈpɒθɪsɪs/, /-əsəs/, /-əsɪs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /haɪˈpɑː.θə.sɪs/
  • (file)

Noun edit

hypothesis (plural hypotheses)

  1. (sciences) Used loosely, a tentative conjecture explaining an observation, phenomenon or scientific problem that can be tested by further observation, investigation and/or experimentation. As a scientific term of art, see the attached quotation. Compare to theory, and quotation given there.
    • 2001 September 27, Terrie E. Moffitt, Avshalom Caspi, Michael Rutter, Phil A. Silva, Sex Differences in Antisocial Behaviour: Conduct Disorder, Delinquency, and Violence in the Dunedin Longitudinal Study[1], Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 151:
      This hypothesis goes by many names, including group resistence, the threshold effect, and the gender paradox. Because the hypothesis holds such wide appeal, it is worth revisiting the logic behind it. The hypothesis is built on the factual observation that fewer females than males act antisocially.
    • 2005, Ronald H. Pine, http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/intelligent_design_or_no_model_creationism, 15 October 2005:
      Far too many of us have been taught in school that a scientist, in the course of trying to figure something out, will first come up with a "hypothesis" (a guess or surmise—not necessarily even an "educated" guess). ... [But t]he word "hypothesis" should be used, in science, exclusively for a reasoned, sensible, knowledge-informed explanation for why some phenomenon exists or occurs. An hypothesis can be as yet untested; can have already been tested; may have been falsified; may have not yet been falsified, although tested; or may have been tested in a myriad of ways countless times without being falsified; and it may come to be universally accepted by the scientific community. An understanding of the word "hypothesis," as used in science, requires a grasp of the principles underlying Occam's Razor and Karl Popper's thought in regard to "falsifiability"—including the notion that any respectable scientific hypothesis must, in principle, be "capable of" being proven wrong (if it should, in fact, just happen to be wrong), but none can ever be proved to be true. One aspect of a proper understanding of the word "hypothesis," as used in science, is that only a vanishingly small percentage of hypotheses could ever potentially become a theory.
  2. (general) An assumption taken to be true for the purpose of argument or investigation.
  3. (grammar) The antecedent of a conditional statement.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Latin edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Ancient Greek ὑπόθεσις (hupóthesis, hypothesis, noun).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

hypothesis f (genitive hypothesis or hypotheseōs or hypothesios); third declension

  1. hypothesis

Declension edit

Third-declension noun (Greek-type, i-stem, i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative hypothesis hypothesēs
Genitive hypothesis
Dative hypothesī hypothesibus
Accusative hypothesim
Ablative hypothesī
Vocative hypothesis

1Found sometimes in Medieval and New Latin.