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1Concerned with or involving the theory of a subject or area of study rather than its practical application.

*‘a theoretical physicist’**‘the training is practical rather than theoretical’**‘This point is most clear in the area of theoretical science, though it has much broader application.’**‘HNDs are much more vocational than degrees and can often be more practical rather than theoretical.’**‘However he was also very active in applications of mathematics to theoretical physics.’**‘His careful study of military affairs had been as much theoretical as practical.’**‘The two-hour sessions are split in half; the first theoretical, the second practical.’**‘Excuse me for for butting in… But does it matter if a theoretical framework is unfalsifiable?’**‘I guess I'm interested in this question more from a theoretical than practical standpoint.’**‘To do this it is helpful to detail briefly the theoretical framework within which these questions were grounded.’**‘Oskar Klein died in Stockholm, one of the finest theoretical physicists of the twentieth century.’**‘The PR guy said she was tipped as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists of her generation.’**‘Will there be no work left for theoretical physicists to do in the twenty-first century?’**‘The preceding chapters have been concerned with the theoretical sciences.’**‘These majors were too theoretical and impractical, so that it would have been hard to find a job.’**‘Then he could acquire the practical skills to go with his theoretical knowledge.’**‘Zhukovskii was concerned both with theoretical and with experimental aspects of the subject.’**‘Another area of mathematics that is full of rough estimates is theoretical computer science.’**‘In addition to the theoretical course, he had four years' experience working with horses.’**‘In theoretical science, we have no reason to suppose that we are ever talking about anything.’**‘Studies up to that point were entirely theoretical and lacked any real practical application.’*

View synonyms**not practical**, conceptual, abstract, pure- 1.1Based on or calculated through theory rather than experience or practice.
*‘the theoretical value of their work’**‘The session included experience-based, theoretical, and practical aspects.’**‘Now the lost work is regarded as a masterpiece with a theoretical value of £300,000.’**‘This is, of course, a theoretical calculation, but one which graphically illustrates the point.’**‘Experimental tests with aquatic species have backed up the theoretical predictions.’**‘The concerns of the literati were practical was well as theoretical.’**‘These books will be exemplars of empirical study and theoretical understanding.’**‘His basic research laid the foundation for many later theoretical and practical developments.’**‘Moreover the concern is an intensely practical one, rather than theoretical.’**‘Yet this trend raises a number of important issues, both theoretical and practical.’**‘It is clear that Laurent was a good engineer, putting his deep theoretical knowledge to good practical use.’**‘It takes real guts to stop being just a critic of the system and come up with solutions, both practical and theoretical.’**‘It also considers the theoretical and practical powers and constraints on a Prime Minister.’**‘Galen believed that medicine required both practical and theoretical elements.’**‘There is a strong theoretical and practical case for free trade and the economic benefits it brings.’**‘This is not to suggest that research is entirely dictated by theoretical concerns.’**‘For Marx the unity of theory and practice meant the resolution of theoretical problems by practical activity.’**‘Freud constantly revised his theories in view of theoretical concerns and new data.’**‘Wilson's essay is desperately keen to convey her theoretical vision of the world.’**‘And he also identified a desire to work on real rather than theoretical problems.’**‘How wonderful it would be if all theoretical conclusion equated with the practical reality.’*

View synonyms**hypothetical**, conjectural, academic, suppositional, speculative, notional, postulatory, conjectured, imagined, assumed, presumed, untested, unproven, unsubstantiated

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