Vocabulary Lesson Six

Sam Miano

Fill in the Blank

Although Freud was never able to definitively prove his ____________ about the structure of the unconscious mind in psychoanalytic theory, his idea that personality is influenced by unconscious desires has been widely accepted.

The Word...

hypothesis (n.)

  • 1. A theory or explanation that leads to further investigation for proof or disproof
  • 2. An assumption on which a conclusion or decision is based

Roots, Origins, and Other Forms

  • First known use in 1590s
  • From Middle French hypothese and Late Latin hypothesis
  • Originally from Greek hypothesis meaning: "base, basis of an argument" literally "a placing under"

Fun Fact: Narrower scientific sense is from 1640s

Alternate Forms: hypothesize (v.) hypothetical (adj.)

Synonyms and Antonyms


  • theory
  • assumption
  • conjecture
  • supposition


  • fact
  • proof
  • postulate
  • theorem


Choose the letter of the sentence in which the word in bold-faced type is used incorrectly.

A) Michael's hypothesis that the rancid smell in the basement was from a dead rat in the air vent was proven correct when his father pulled it out.

B) The Vertical Angles hypothesis states that two angles opposite each other at an intersection of two lines are congruent.

C) There is much evidence today to support Charles Darwin's natural selection hypothesis.

D) A hypothesis is taught in many science classes as: "a testable prediction."