W3 [θıəˈretıkəl US ˌθi:ə-] adj also theo|ret|ic [θıəˈretık US ˌθi:ə-]
1.) relating to the study of ideas, especially scientific ideas, rather than with practical uses of the ideas or practical experience
→↑theory, practical ↑practical, applied ↑applied
theoretical physics
Aristotle's theoretical model of the universe
She has theoretical knowledge of teaching, but no practical experience.
2.) a theoretical situation or condition could exist but does not really exist
Equality between men and women in our society is still only theoretical.
a theoretical risk of an explosion

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • theoretical — theoretical, *speculative, academic can be applied to minds, types of reasoning or philosophizing, or branches of learning as meaning concerned principally with abstractions and theories, sometimes at the expense of practical basis or application …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • theoretical — (adj.) 1610s, from L.L. theoreticus of or pertaining to theory (c.397), from Gk. theoretikos contemplative, pertaining to theory (by Aristotle contrasted to praktikos), from theoretos that may be seen or considered, from theorein to consider,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • theoretical — [adj] hypothetical abstract, academic, analytical, as a premise, assumed, codified, conjectural, contingent, formalistic, formularized, general, ideal, idealized, ideational, ideological, imaginative, impractical, instanced, intellectual, in the… …   New thesaurus

  • theoretical — (also theoretic) ► ADJECTIVE 1) concerned with or involving theory rather than its practical application. 2) based on or calculated through theory. DERIVATIVES theoretically adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • theoretical — [thē΄ə ret′i kəl] adj. [< LL theoreticus < Gr theōrētikos < AL] 1. of or constituting theory 2. limited to or based on theory; not practical or applied; hypothetical 3. tending to theorize; speculative: Also theoretic theoretically adv …   English World dictionary

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  • theoretical — the|o|ret|i|cal [ ,θiə retıkl ] adjective ** based on theories or ideas instead of practical experience: The course is designed to be practical rather than theoretical. a. relating to theories or ideas: the theoretical framework of the research b …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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