When you theorize, you come up with an explanation for how something happens, based on ideas that can be tested. You may theorize that your dog is afraid of loud noises after you see her cower under the bed during fireworks and thunderstorms.

When someone theorizes, they’re not just making a wild guess. They’re forming a theory, or a testable explanation that they can confirm through experimentation. After a scientist theorizes and the theory sticks around and is tested again and again in a rigorous way, it becomes an “established theory,” like the theory of gravity or plate tectonics theory. The Greek root theorein means “to consider, speculate, or look at.”

Definitions of theorize
  1. verb

    construct a theory about

    theorized the motion of the stars”
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    type of:


    think logically

  2. verb

    form or construct theories

    “he thinks and
    theorizes all day”
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    type of:


    think logically

  3. verb

    believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds

    conjecture, hypothecate, hypothesise, hypothesize, speculate, suppose, theorise
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    show 5 types…
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    construct, reconstruct, retrace

    reassemble mentally
    develop, explicate, formulate

    elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses
    etymologise, etymologize

    construct the history of words

    develop and work out fully in one’s mind
    redevelop, reformulate

    formulate or develop again, of an improved theory or hypothesis
    type of:

    anticipate, expect

    regard something as probable or likely

Word Family