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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
theoretical
adjective
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a theoretical concept (=that exists only as a theory)
▪ The theoretical concepts of psychology, for example Freud’s ideas, are also useful in the study of literature.
from a theoretical/political/economic etc standpoint
▪ Let’s look at the questions from an economic standpoint.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADVERB
more
▪ The final advantage of the grid-linked system is more theoretical.
▪ Instead it will deal with two more theoretical questions.
▪ From a commercial point of view rescission as a remedy is more theoretical than practical.
▪ At a more theoretical level two comments are worth making.
▪ The second was of a more theoretical nature, dealing with the constitution of salicylic acid.
▪ Thus they may prefer to skip the next two chapters which are more theoretical.
■ NOUN
account
▪ Cureton has provided a theoretical account of our intuitions about rhythm.
▪ A number of different theoretical accounts for this finding will now be considered in turn.
▪ To many, these theoretical accounts are mutually exclusive alternatives, with acceptance of either one requiring the rejection of the other.
▪ Understanding is deferred, rather as it is in certain recent theoretical accounts of the way literature works.
▪ She defines the area of feminist epistemology as that of developing theoretical accounts of knowledge which retain continuity with women's experiences.
▪ Following that, we shall look at three different theoretical accounts of the growth of the service sector in Britain.
analysis
▪ This will be supported further by the theoretical analysis undertaken in chapter 6.
▪ Sixthly, and most importantly, the theoretical analysis that we have undertaken is entirely partial.
▪ This fundamental difference with the position of earlier radicals required theoretical analysis in two areas.
▪ The justification for the interpretation is theoretical analysis of the forced spherical pendulum.
▪ But what of a theoretical analysis of how these structures intersect?
▪ Why is it not possible to begin with the basis in a theoretical analysis of Soviet economy.
approach
▪ Each of the theoretical approaches outlined above is vulnerable to specific criticisms.
▪ We have concentrated in this chapter on theoretical approaches to the demand for sport.
▪ Some of these alternative insights can be gleaned from an appraisal of alternative theoretical approaches.
▪ As with the development of all skills, the theoretical approach described in this chapter needs to be supplemented by practical experience.
▪ First are theoretical approaches which depend upon some empirical knowledge to apply theoretical concepts such as the continuity equation.
▪ They are not fundamental criticisms of analysis or method, although they begin to raise wider questions about theoretical approaches.
▪ However, this theoretical approach would argue, such inequalities are in principle temporary.
▪ How does this theoretical approach fare in relation to the problems which were outlined in the opening section?
argument
▪ In working through the accounts particular emphasis has been placed upon the nature of the theoretical arguments involved.
▪ Well, M &038; M missed a few real-world points in their original theoretical argument.
▪ The community power debate has continued into the 1970s and 1980s with both elitists and pluralists refining their methods and theoretical arguments.
▪ This is not the only theoretical argument suggesting that chaotic neural behavior is possible.
▪ The theoretical arguments receive empirical support from private systems elsewhere.
▪ Often, however, theoretical arguments have been distanced from detailed empirical investigation of industrial change.
▪ Stalinism, in fact, accords all too perfectly with the perverse structures of Sartre's own theoretical argument.
aspect
▪ The theoretical aspects of these techniques are well covered but the environmental applications are rather sparse.
▪ The ability to relate theoretical aspects of the program development to practical teaching application in classrooms and library media centers. 5.
▪ The theoretical aspects were formulated in the mid-1940s and the first dates were published in December 1949.
▪ This more theoretical aspect should provide a better basis for urban designers and transport planners considering personal security issues.
▪ The next section of this chapter looks at the theoretical aspects which underpin this budgetary process and plan.
assumption
▪ Yet the attacks conflated a difference in methodology with a difference in theoretical assumptions.
▪ In order to test these theoretical assumptions, a factor analysis of the survey data was performed.
▪ The degree in poetry I have outlined would attempt to be open about its theoretical assumptions.
▪ That pattern was not very different whatever theoretical assumptions were used.
▪ When the theoretical assumptions themselves are examined the case is even less convincing.
▪ Re-negotiation of steps is very commonly required since theoretical assumptions of difficulty are often not mirrored by experience in practice.
▪ But this decision will need to be informed by an understanding of what theoretical assumptions underlie the different descriptions.
base
▪ It is in putting forward new ideas, derived from theoretical bases, that the hypothesis has its function.
▪ If there is any theoretical base for the study it should be developed and laid out in this section.
▪ Questions of theoretical base or methodological perspective have often been subsumed by or channelled into the construction of acceptable written examinations.
▪ The existing major general classification schemes observe few of the theoretical bases for sound classification.
basis
▪ The pertinent question is what theoretical basis there is to such a model.
▪ The theoretical basis for this rests on economic models which predict that there are net welfare gains available from removing these barriers.
▪ The effect is unexpected, and no theoretical basis is known to the author - hence the empirical treatment.
▪ But as a theoretical basis for the protection of these rights and freedoms, such ideas are woefully inadequate.
▪ Models can be useful and have a part to play, if built on a sound theoretical basis.
▪ Sociology in the final analysis existed to provide a theoretical basis for socialism and secular education which were its practice.
▪ This is the theoretical basis of male competition.
concept
▪ Throughout the book, theoretical concepts and experimental evidence are integrated.
▪ In any event, it must be kept in mind that from a linguistic point of view dialect is a theoretical concept.
▪ The analysis of these data will combine up-to-date statistical techniques with theoretical concepts drawn from both economics and sociology.
▪ First are theoretical approaches which depend upon some empirical knowledge to apply theoretical concepts such as the continuity equation.
▪ The theoretical concepts of psychology and sociology are used to study how people work in organisations.
▪ What distinguished eugenists from Farr and his colleagues were the laws and theoretical concepts used to assess the population.
consideration
▪ There is however a very large distance between these long-run theoretical considerations and empirical implementation.
▪ At the same time, the second approach via theoretical considerations - is also valuable in assessing the question of incidence.
▪ The point is that they are deliberately sought because some reasoned theoretical considerations are felt to require them.
construct
▪ Such models comprise theoretical constructs of variables which are interrelated, and significant in influencing the outcome of a purchase motivation.
▪ It is important to see that the physical world is a mental, theoretical construct.
▪ To say that the physical world is a theoretical construct is not to say that it does not really exist.
debate
▪ Shortly, we shall examine the theoretical debates within this school.
▪ This is entirely in keeping with the theoretical debate over academic freedom which we find in the literature.
▪ So far, that's prevented the organization from losing itself too much in theoretical debate or argument.
▪ As the title implies, she related theoretical debates about the nature of the state to the institutions of local government.
▪ There is also a glossary of terms frequently used within the theoretical debates.
▪ But on the Lazarsfeldian view theoretical debate without systematically provided empirical evidence is essentially sterile not to say unscientific.
▪ At the same time, this is an area of considerable theoretical debate, disagreement and, many would argue, confusion.
▪ Opinion poll-led policy-making has proven a disaster, yet open policy discussion and theoretical debate remains near non-existent.
development
▪ In a short period of rapid theoretical development the emergent core of regional planning principles and practices strengthened considerably.
▪ Secondly, systems technology which is concerned with applications in computer operations and theoretical development such as game theory.
▪ But there has been little systematic investigation of how different approaches affect the process of analysis and theoretical development.
▪ The research will involve theoretical development and both econometric work and back up case study analysis.
▪ The most intensive theoretical development began during the 1940s.
discussion
▪ The general theoretical discussion on concepts and definitions is therefore - perhaps surprisingly - put at the end.
▪ The prevailing attitude among most newsmen andwomen was almost anti-intellectual, disdainful of theoretical discussions and analysis of issues.
▪ Most of the theoretical discussion assume that few, if any, breaches of the taboo occur.
▪ These theoretical discussions are consistent with recent experimental results that are also summarized in section 9. 3.
▪ Another is the difficulty of moving from the theoretical discussion to the specification and testing of an empirical model.
▪ Recently, joint planning, evaluation and some theoretical discussion have become an integral part of the programme.
▪ Academic list servers have been known to start useful theoretical discussions over important issues within a field.
▪ Computational questions have become central, not just in natural language processing applications, but also in theoretical discussions within linguistics.
explanation
▪ Convincing objections have been raised to every theoretical explanation which has so far been provided.
▪ There are a number of theoretical explanations for the term structure of interest rates.
▪ To make assumptions about the cause of behavior or feelings is to use theoretical explanations.
foundation
▪ Before we consider each of these offences in outline, let us examine the practical and theoretical foundations for them.
▪ Moreover, as Patinkin has shown, its theoretical foundations are questionable.
▪ Computer Science has emerged as a well-defined discipline with a solid theoretical foundation.
▪ The theoretical foundations for a currency union among independent nation-states are not strong prima facie.
framework
▪ The development of the theoretical framework remains therefore of high priority.
▪ We have no real theoretical framework, and our experiments are entirely empirical.
▪ We shall discuss it in a variety of ways throughout the chapter and consider how it differs between theoretical frameworks.
▪ In particular they made great progress in their attempts to put electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force together within the same theoretical framework.
▪ The theoretical framework for co-citation analysis is described by Griffith and others.
▪ Just how important efficiency considerations appear will depend on how far the reader accepts the basic theoretical framework.
▪ Each theoretical framework gives a rather different account of the meaning and significance of major industrial changes as marks of structural change.
▪ The rivalry and interaction between advanced capitalist economies is a feature of this theoretical framework which is absent from world-system theories.
idea
▪ From this starting point, four theoretical ideas are identified which can contribute to a practice of affirmative assessment.
▪ I had to give up my theoretical ideas, my Clement Greenberg formalist ideas.
▪ To help a social worker clear a framework for how to proceed in family work some theoretical ideas may be helpful.
▪ It would not be based upon theoretical ideas which were held to have generality beyond a socio-historical context.
▪ The ways in which this transition can occur form a topic central to theoretical ideas about deterministic chaos.
▪ It should, however, be pointed out that there is a major difference between theoretical ideas and specific proposals.
▪ Side by side, teacher and pupil should test and render practical any theoretical ideas that were presented.
interest
▪ Yet it is neither rare nor without theoretical interest.
▪ In particular, the implicit counter-themes, and indeed counter-counter-themes, are potentially of great theoretical interest.
▪ But this is essentially of theoretical interest only, and there are far more practical examples.
▪ The theoretical interest of both phases 1 and 11 lies in four main socio-legal areas.
issue
▪ My criticisms are mainly concerned with Blake's handling of some major theoretical issues and with certain parts of the book.
▪ The matter before the high court involves only the theoretical issue of whether the government can be held liable for damages.
▪ Two major theoretical issues underlie the reality of health care provision for older people.
▪ One is the theoretical issue of how money should be defined.
▪ In some chapters the authors also refer back to earlier volumes in the series for a more detailed discussion of theoretical issues.
▪ The paper as a whole is an excellent source of information on a range of relevant practical and theoretical issues.
▪ Its pattern-searching strategy resolves many theoretical issues by placing them within the constraint of empirical evidence.
knowledge
▪ Every course will involve an element of theoretical knowledge to ensure that your next trip away from the controlled environment is safe.
▪ The academic tradition is content-focused and typically stresses abstract and theoretical knowledge for examination.
▪ Closer investigation shows the extraordinary extent of Miller's theoretical knowledge of and practical expertise with an enormous diversity of matters.
level
▪ It is true that the question remained at a rather theoretical level in the 1860s.
▪ The discussion remains largely on the theoretical level.
▪ At the theoretical level, Soul is more profoundly misleading.
▪ At a theoretical level there remain some problems with this analysis.
▪ It was a geographical question; and the answer, at the theoretical level, was simple.
▪ At a more theoretical level two comments are worth making.
▪ This brings them to explore the theoretical level of psychological discourse.
model
▪ There are theoretical models which suggest that effective markets depend on legal and institutional factors as well as the operation of the price mechanism.
▪ They argue for the development of theoretical models, upon which hypothesis testing can be carried out.
▪ The general theoretical model, in a very simplified form, is shown in Figure 2.
▪ This analysis is extended by the examination of theoretical models of buying behaviour, and is illustrated by a major case study.
▪ Lattice enthalpies can also be calculated using a theoretical model.
▪ There is no clear theoretical model to explain the relationship between motivation, job satisfaction and performance.
▪ A second approach is to use some theoretical model to calculate effective atomic charges.
perspective
▪ These explanations are influenced by the sociologist's theoretical perspective and their evaluation of the services provided by professionals.
▪ On this second front he goes beyond Parsons by expanding the opportunities of scholars with variant theoretical perspectives.
▪ This is inpart what I hope to provide here in respect of certain current theoretical perspectives and pedagogic approaches.
▪ For the time being, we move on to the second of our theoretical perspectives, the ethogenic approach.
▪ Finally, ignorance of the cultural and theoretical perspective that underlies a study can colour its substantive conclusions.
▪ From a theoretical perspective population growth is seen as a major stimulant to industrial development.
▪ Preparatory lectures will give a theoretical perspective to a residential weekend at an outdoor centre.
▪ Mannheim's ideas will now be applied to two of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology: Marxism and functionalism.
physicist
▪ These will be the outstanding problems for theoretical physicists in the next twenty years or so.
▪ Undoubtedly, the human interest story of how I have managed to be a theoretical physicist despite my disability has helped.
▪ So maybe the end is in sight for theoretical physicists, if not for theoretical physics.
▪ Not, alas, from one ex-Colorado theoretical physicist.
▪ The theoretical physicist gets more credit than the experimental because the behavior of the latter clearly depends on laboratory practice and observation.
▪ Scientists, especially theoretical physicists, are all awaiting the next revolutionary breakthrough that overthrows the paradigms of theory and practice.
▪ That is certainly how those years are enshrined in the folk memory of theoretical physicists.
▪ Richard Feynman, said to be the greatest theoretical physicist of modern times, stated that no-one understands quantum mechanics.
physics
▪ In theoretical physics, the search for logical self-consistency has always been more important in making advances than experimental results.
▪ Fukushima describes the relationship between modeling neural networks and neurophysiology as one resembling that between theoretical physics and experimental physics.
▪ They are predicted by theoretical physics, and there is good experimental evidence in favour of their existence.
▪ So maybe the end is in sight for theoretical physicists, if not for theoretical physics.
▪ Doing theoretical physics is usually a two-step process.
▪ I felt that there were two possible areas of theoretical physics that were fundamental and in which I might do research.
▪ Feynman, who died in 1988, is remembered for his many contributions to theoretical physics.
▪ The ideal candidate will hold a good degree in theoretical physics or physical chemistry and have strong mathematical and computing skills.
position
▪ This interpretation seems to leave Kant's theoretical position intact.
▪ The assumptions of each theoretical position form the core around which each theory is constructed.
▪ Neither Marx nor Engels wrote systematically about art, but important theoretical positions were derived from them.
▪ These two theoretical positions are, apparently, mutually exclusive.
▪ It does not seem to me necessary or desirable to adhere exclusively to one or other of these theoretical positions.
▪ Much of the writing on family law lacks any stated theoretical position, although it is generally underpinned by a welfare approach.
possibility
▪ There is a theoretical possibility of explaining them.
▪ But formidable capital cost stood in the way of such improvements, and irrigation remained no more than a theoretical possibility.
▪ As soon as such heterogeneity enters into a polymer chain, information technology becomes a theoretical possibility.
▪ But now that the question has ceased to be one of recognition, the theoretical possibility of rebuttal must exist.
▪ However, the autonomous house can not provide servicing without limits, a theoretical possibility in the conventional house.
▪ Whatever the theoretical possibilities, it is clearly more parsimonious to explain acquired distinctiveness and equivalence solely in terms of associative mechanisms.
▪ On one level this statement was not staking out any new policy, merely raising theoretical possibilities.
problem
▪ An interesting methodological and theoretical problem is posed by these contradictions.
▪ But that development involved the solution of theoretical problems and was not to be achieved without considerable theoretical labour.
▪ There is, however, a theoretical problem.
▪ A major part of the argument against integration was based on the reaction of teachers rather than any theoretical problems.
▪ But this immediately raises two theoretical problems.
▪ These theoretical problems are most visible and at their most intractable in the area of fostering and adoption policy.
▪ There are, however, a few theoretical problems.
▪ Here we return to the theoretical problem of how the other can be articulated as such.
reason
▪ We may have a theoretical reason for believing that the variable we are studying will require a particular transformation.
▪ While separating these activities analytically from other major processes, like emotional support, it does this for justifiable theoretical reasons.
▪ This option largely failed to make headway for many of the basic theoretical reasons that were outlined in Chapter 2.
▪ As yet nobody knows; but it would certainly be worth finding out, both for commercial and for theoretical reasons.
▪ Althusser has a theoretical reason for adopting the views of Lenin and Mao.
▪ The results will be of interest for descriptive and theoretical reasons.
standpoint
▪ This chapter examines these questions from a theoretical standpoint within the framework of natural monopoly industries.
▪ First, that the routinized nature of practice affects all theoretical standpoints, therefore psychodynamic social work is not necessarily disadvantaged.
structure
▪ It has a clear theoretical structure, which builds upon imperfect competition, over-lapping wage contracts and relatively efficient financial markets.
▪ Within the official school framework there are penalties for inappropriate behaviour and the pupils acknowledge, at least, its theoretical structure.
▪ The theoretical structure is large and in places complicated.
study
▪ The aim of the course is to provide a comprehensive framework for practical and theoretical study in Art and Design.
▪ However, Karplus illustrated the immense scale of the problem facing those embarked on theoretical study.
understanding
▪ He mentioned the need to bring out the practical application of subjects, in ways which would enhance rather than displace theoretical understanding.
▪ The ideas which come from a good theoretical understanding form hypotheses, and this concept is our next subject of study.
▪ The immediate aims are to develop theoretical understanding, suggest research priorities and contribute to thinking about relevant public policies.
▪ Thompson explores a theoretical understanding of how prejudice works.
▪ The work will also contribute to a theoretical understanding of survival strategies and the dynamics of decision-making in conditions of forced migration.
▪ Though he disliked clerical employment, his writing ability and theoretical understanding of marine science were developing.
▪ Ground-based data as well as the latest information from the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft are used in developing both physical descriptions and theoretical understanding.
value
▪ It may be felt that this analysis has only theoretical value at most.
▪ Significantly, Ptolemy completed his geometric calculations without so much as developing one new idea of major theoretical value.
▪ Much emphasis has been placed on the theoretical value of tat and protease inhibitors.
work
▪ An important theme of empirical and theoretical work on contemporary social structure is that of social differentiation, and its spatial aspects.
▪ Recent theoretical work has clarified two possible causes of ageing.
▪ He was therefore able to expand his studies in the way that was ultimately to produce Capital, his main theoretical work.
▪ The chapter on wasps describes a recent renewal of interest following theoretical work.
▪ The demonstration was motivated by theoretical work which provides the real justification for the interpretation given.
▪ Case study evidence can assist in the development of more applicable theoretical work in industrial organisation.
▪ Let us accept that by no means all research stems from the reading of published theoretical work or dissatisfaction with the use of concepts.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
theoretical research
▪ There is a theoretical chance of infection, but it is not very likely.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Governments, like theoretical economists, tend to be mainly concerned with the short run.
▪ Heat flow modelling was based on the matching of calculated tectonic subsidence profiles with theoretical stretching curves.
▪ Is the measurement true to the theoretical meaning embodied in the variable as a concept?
▪ Sometimes a theoretical framework prescribes that particular factors are considered causally prior to others.
▪ The general theoretical discussion on concepts and definitions is therefore - perhaps surprisingly - put at the end.
▪ There are a number of theoretical explanations for the term structure of interest rates.
▪ This meant that students had the theoretical right to go to any school they wished.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Theoretical

Theoretic \The`o*ret"ic\, Theoretical \The`o*ret"ic*al\, a. [Gr. ?: cf. L. theoreticus, F. th['e]or['e]tique.] Pertaining to theory; depending on, or confined to, theory or speculation; speculative; terminating in theory or speculation: not practical; as, theoretical learning; theoretic sciences. -- The`o*ret"ic*al*ly, adv.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
theoretical

1610s, "contemplative," with -al (1) + Late Latin theoreticus "of or pertaining to theory," from Greek theoretikos "contemplative, speculative, pertaining to theory" (by Aristotle contrasted to praktikos), from theoretos "that may be seen or considered," from theorein "to consider, look at" (see theory). Meaning "pertaining to theory, making deductions from theory not from fact" (opposed to practical) is from 1650s; earlier in this sense was theorical (c.1500). Meaning "ideal, hypothetical" is from 1790s (implied in theoretically). Related: theoretician.

Wiktionary
theoretical

a. Of or relating to theory; abstract; not empirical.

WordNet
theoretical
  1. adj. concerned primarily with theories or hypotheses rather than practical considerations; "theoretical science" [syn: theoretic] [ant: empirical]

  2. concerned with theories rather than their practical applications; "theoretical physics" [ant: applied]

  3. based on specialized theory; "a theoretical analysis" [syn: abstract]

Wikipedia

Usage examples of "theoretical".

The second impediment is represented by the numerous theoretical positions that see no alternative to the present form of rule except a blind anarchic other and that thus partake in a mysticism of the limit.

The mamuti, anticipating the need for explanations to relieve the anxieties caused by this startling innovation, had mentally searched the theoretical construct of their metaphysical world for answers that would satisfy.

His brief spell in the arcology refuge had shown him how little use theoretical medicine was in the face of real injuries.

The world knows your phenomenal skill in billiards, Professor, a talent second only to your amazing aptitude in theoretical physics.

I think he underrates the part my energy and practical capacity played in bringing about the realisation of his theoretical sphere.

There is no theoretical limit on the length of a buckytube, although current techniques produce samples only a few microns long.

For if by the logical following of this path - as in modern theoretical physics - the whole universe is dissolved into units which can no longer be distinguished from each other, then it will become impossible to count these parts, for it cannot be established whether any given one of these hypothetical elemental particles has been counted or not.

While the Bauble could theoretically be subdivided into millions of individual macromolecules, it was in fact one super-macromolecule, since the linkages between its theoretical units were themselves molecular in nature.

Labs engineers invent kwanlon, a monomolecular fiber with theoretical strength enough to link Earth with geosynchronous satellites.

Yet you continue to overeat, indicating clearly that the physical sensation of ingestion outweighs the theoretical pleasure of improved appearance.

Spy satellites, carrying radars more sensitive than the equipment that had mapped the surface of Venus from the Magellan spacecraft, could create photomosaics of incredible detail, with a theoretical resolution of detail of a few feet.

In the second chapter of book two, on page 8, the theoretical outline begins, with a discussion of the Photoplay of Action.

Like a master chef, she added ingredients as they occurred to her, going with a prescient sense bolstered by her theoretical proofs.

This theoretical position leads merely to a cynical attitude and quietistic practices.

As, at least in neuroscience, the theoretical limitations of naive reductionism become increasingly apparent, and cold-war suspicions recede into history, the time is ripe for the autonomous Soviet tradition in neurophysiology and psychology to be reassimilated into a more integrated and Universalists neuroscience.