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the supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance.
-leonardo da vinci

alas for the cripple Practice when it seeks come up with the bird Theory, which flies before it.
-r waldo emerson


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Main Entry: the·o·ry
Pronunciation: 'thE-&-rE, 'thi(-&)r-E
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -ries
Etymology: Late Latin theoria, from Greek theOria, from theOrein
Date: 1592
1 : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
2 : abstract thought : SPECULATION
3 : the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art <music theory>
4 a : a belief, policy, or procedure proposed or followed as the basis of action <her method is based on the theory that all children want to learn> b : an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances -- often used in the phrase in theory <in theory, we have always advocated freedom for all>
5 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena <wave theory of light>
6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption : CONJECTURE c : a body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject <theory of equations>
synonym see HYPOTHESIS