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 Dictionary entry overview: What does in theory mean? 

IN THEORY (adverb)
  The adverb IN THEORY has 3 senses:

1. according to the assumed facts
2. with regard to fundamentals although not concerning details
3. as described in contrast to as practiced

  Familiarity information: IN THEORY used as an adverb is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

IN THEORY (adverb)

Sense 1in theory [BACK TO TOP]


According to the assumed facts


in theory; theoretically; on paper

Context example:

on paper the candidate seems promising

Sense 2in theory [BACK TO TOP]


With regard to fundamentals although not concerning details


in principle; in essence; in theory

Context example:

in principle, we agree

Sense 3in theory [BACK TO TOP]


As described in contrast to as practiced


on paper; in theory

Context example:

on paper, this looks like a good idea

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
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"Falseness lasts an hour, and truth lasts till the end of time." (Arabic proverb)

"As you make your bed, so you must lie in it." (Czech proverb)

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