First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
On This Page

How to Pronounce Theory

  • Automated Male (English)
    Is this an accurate pronunciation?
  • Automated Female (English)
    Is this an accurate pronunciation?
How difficult is it to pronounce Theory?

Meaning and Origin

What does the name Theory mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Theory

Submit the origin and/or meaning of Theory to us below

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun The"o*ry
  1. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.
  2. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.
  3. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.
  4. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.
    synonyms: Hypothesis, speculation.

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.

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.

Etymology: F. théorie, L. theoria, Gr. � a beholding, spectacle, contemplation, speculation, fr. � a spectator, � to see, view. See Theater

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. 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" and "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices")
  2. A belief that can guide behavior ("the architect has a theory that more is less" and "they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales")
  3. 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 ("true in fact and theory")

From Middle French théorie, from Late Latin theōria, from Ancient Greek θεωρία (theōría, “contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at”), from θεωρέω (theōréō, “I look at, view, consider, examine”), from θεωρός (theōrós, “spectator”), from θέα (théa, “a view”) + ὁράω (horáō, “I see,look”).

  1. (obsolete) Mental conception; reflection, consideration. [16th-18th c.]
  2. (sciences) A coherent statement or set of ideas that explains observed facts or phenomena, or which sets out the laws and principles of something known or observed; a hypothesis confirmed by observation, experiment etc. [from 17th c.]
  3. (uncountable) The underlying principles or methods of a given technical skill, art etc., as opposed to its practice. [from 17th c.]
  4. (mathematics) A field of study attempting to exhaustively describe a particular class of constructs. [from 18th c.]
    Knot classifies the mappings of a circle into 3-space.
  5. A hypothesis or conjecture. [from 18th c.]
  6. (countable, logic) A set of axioms together with all statements derivable from them. Equivalently, a formal language plus a set of axioms (from which can then be derived theorems).
    A is consistent if it has a model.

Notable Persons Named Theory

Theory Hazit is a christian hip hop musician. He was most prominent from 2007 to present. Theory was given the name Thearthur Readie Washington on November 3rd, 1978 in Winchester, Kentucky. Theory is also known as Theory Hazit, Theo Washington, Washinton, and Thearthur Readie.


Fun Facts about the name Theory

  • How Popular is the name Theory? Theory is the 40,776th most popular name of all time.
  • How many people with the first name Theory have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 76 babies born with the first name Theory in the United States. That's more than enough people named Theory to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Theory? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 2006 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Theory first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Theory is Monday, June 12th, 1882.
  • What year had the most people named Theory born? The highest recorded use of the first name Theory was in 2013 with a total of 9 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Theory: Your name in reverse order is Yroeht. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Thyeor. How do you pronounce that?

What Theorys Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Theory

Name poster for Theory(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.