Definition:Hypothesis

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Definition

A hypothesis is a statement that is made whose truth value has not been established, but which is believed to be true.

The underlying idea is that its truth or falsehood is about to be investigated.


A hypothesis is considered by some branches of philosophy as being synonymous with the words wild guess[1].


Possibly the most famous still-unproved hypothesis is the Riemann Hypothesis.


Also defined as

Some sources use the word hypothesis for a premise.

Some use hypothesis to mean antecedent in the context of a conditional statement.


Also known as

The word supposition is also found.

The word conjecture is frequently encountered, usually in the context of a statement whose truth value has remained unresolved for a considerable time after the passing of the one who first raised the question.

However, this usage is inconsistent.


The term open question is also encountered, usually in the context in which there is no evidence in either direction as to whether the statement is true or false.


Also see


Linguistic Note

The word hypothesis comes from the Greek for supposition, literally to put under, that is sub-position.

The idea is that one puts an idea under scrutiny.

Its plural is hypotheses where the last syllable is pronounced sees.


The verb hypothesize (British English: hypothesise) means to make a hypothesis, that is, to suppose.


The adjective hypothetical means having the nature of a hypothesis.

A hypothetical question is a question which relates to a situation that is supposed (or pretended) to be imaginary. One would, for example, announce that a question about to be posed is hypothetical if the questioner wishes to be believed to be at some distance from the possibility of actually being the subject of the question.

As a purely hypothetical question, what would the fate be of a student who had been found to have cheated in his examinations?


Sources