Pronunciation: /haɪˈpɒ.θə.sɪs/ Explain

An hypothesis is a statement that is believed to be true, that is to be proved. A theory is a statement that has been proved and generally accepted. Five criteria for judging the usefulness of an hypothesis are[2]:

  • Testability - Can the hypothesis be checked using existing technology and theories.
  • Simplicity - Does the hypothesis have just a few main points.
  • Scope - Does the hypothesis cover general cases.
  • Fruitfulness - What is the possibility that the hypothesis will explain or help prove other cases in the future.
  • Conservatism - How well does the hypothesis fit with current theories.


  1. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, hypothesis. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 93. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book
  2. Schick, Theodore and Vaughn, Lewis. How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age. 6th edition. McGraw-Hill. February 5, 2010. Last Accessed 7/18/2018. Buy the book
  3. Couturat, Louis. The Algebra of Logic. Translated by Robinson, Gillingham Lydia. www.archive.org. Last Accessed 7/18/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/thealgebraoflogi10836gut/10836-pdf#page/n15/mode/1up/search/hypothesis. Buy the book
  4. Devey, Joseph. Logic; or the Science of Inference. pg 2. www.archive.org. Henry G. Bohn. 1865. Last Accessed 7/18/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/logicorscienceof00deveiala#page/n15/mode/1up/search/hypothesis. Buy the book

More Information

  • Writing Hypotheses. accessexcelence.org. Access Excellence. The National Health Museum. 2/11/2009. http://www.accessexcellence.org/LC/TL/filson/writhypo.php.

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Hypothesis. 12/21/2018. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. https://www.allmathwords.org/en/h/hypothesis.html.

Revision History

12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
7/16/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup, implemented new Geogebra protocol. (McAdams, David E.)
2/10/2010: Added "References". (McAdams, David E.)
9/16/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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