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From Ancient Greek ὑποθετικός (hupothetikós)


  • IPA(key): /ˌhaɪpəˈθɛtɪkl/
  • (file)


hypothetical (comparative more hypothetical, superlative most hypothetical)

  1. Based upon a hypothesis; conjectural
    • 1882, Roby, Henry John, chapter XVIII, in A Latin grammar for schools[1], London: MacMillan and Co., Book IV : Syntax or use of Inflexional Forms, page 258:
      Such a subjunctive as appears in the principal clause (i.e. the apodosis) of a conditional sentence may be called a hypothetical subjunctive. An hypothetical subjunctive expresses an action1 which, while its non-occurrence is implied, is yet supposed to occur, if some other action occur.
    • 2006, ACLU v. NSA (District Court opinion):
      To establish standing under Article III, a plaintiff must satisfy the following three requirements: (1) "the plaintiff must have suffered an injury in fact - an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized, and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical"; ...
  2. (philosophy) conditional; contingent upon some hypothesis/antecedent





hypothetical (plural hypotheticals)

  1. A possible or hypothetical situation or proposition
    These hypotheticals serve no purpose until we have more information.

Related terms[edit]