Hypothesis

Hy*poth"e*sis

(?), n.;
pl. Hypotheses (#).
[NL., fr. Gr. foundation, supposition, fr. to place under, under + to put. See Hypo-, Thesis.] 1. A supposition; a proposition or principle which is supposed or taken for granted, in order to draw a conclusion or inference for proof of the point in question; something not proved, but assumed for the purpose of argument, or to account for a fact or an occurrence; as, the hypothesis that head winds detain an overdue steamer.
[1913 Webster]

An hypothesis being a mere supposition, there are no other limits to hypotheses than those of the human imagination.
J. S. Mill.
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2. (Natural Science) A tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to guide in the investigation of others; hence, frequently called a working hypothesis.

Syn. -- Supposition; assumption. See Theory.
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Nebular hypothesis. See under Nebular.

{

Hy`po*thet"ic

(?),

Hy`po*thet"ic*al

(?), } a. [L. hypotheticus, Gr. : cf. F. hypothtique.] Characterized by, or of the nature of, an hypothesis; conditional; assumed without proof, for the purpose of reasoning and deducing proof, or of accounting for some fact or phenomenon.
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Causes hypothetical at least, if not real, for the various phenomena of the existence of which our experience informs us.
Sir W. Hamilton.
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Hypothetical baptism (Ch. of Eng.), baptism administered to persons in respect to whom it is doubtful whether they have or have not been baptized before. Hook.

-- Hy`po*thet"ic*al*ly, adv. South.
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Wed 20th August 2014