Theory vs Activist - What's the difference?

theory | activist |

As nouns the difference between theory and activist

is that theory is (obsolete) mental conception; reflection, consideration while activist is one who is politically active in the role of a citizen; especially, one who campaigns for change.

As an adjective activist is

behaving as an activist.




  • (obsolete) Mental conception; reflection, consideration.
  • * 1646 , (Thomas Browne), Pseudodoxia Epidemica , VII.19:
  • As they encrease the hatred of vice in some, so doe they enlarge the theory of wickednesse in all.
  • (sciences) A coherent statement or set of ideas that explains observed facts or phenomena, or which sets out the laws and principles of something known or observed; a hypothesis confirmed by observation, experiment etc.
  • * 2002 , Duncan Steel, The Guardian , 23 May 2002:
  • It was only when Einstein's theory' of relativity was published in 1915 that physicists could show that Mercury's "anomaly" was actually because Newton's gravitational ' theory was incomplete.
  • * 2003 , (Bill Bryson), A Short History of Nearly Everything , BCA, p. 118:
  • The world would need additional decades [...] before the Big Bang would begin to move from interesting idea to established theory .
  • * 2009 , (Richard Dawkins), The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence for Evolution , Bantam, p. 10:
  • Scientists and creationists are understanding the word "theory'" in two very different senses. Evolution is a '''theory''' in the same sense as the heliocentric '''theory'''. In neither case should the word "only" be used, as in "only a ' theory ".
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-01
  • , author=Michael Riordan , title=Tackling Infinity , volume=100, issue=1, page=86 , magazine= citation , passage=Some of the most beautiful and thus appealing physical theories', including quantum electrodynamics and quantum gravity, have been dogged for decades by infinities that erupt when theorists try to prod their calculations into new domains. Getting rid of these nagging infinities has probably occupied far more effort than was spent in originating the ' theories .}}
  • (uncountable) The underlying principles or methods of a given technical skill, art etc., as opposed to its practice.
  • * 1990 , Tony Bennett, Outside Literature , p. 139:
  • Does this mean, then, that there can be no such thing as a theory of literature?
  • * 1998 , Elizabeth Souritz, The Great History of Russian Ballet :
  • Lopukhov wrote a number of books and articles on ballet theory , as well as his memoirs.
  • (mathematics) A field of study attempting to exhaustively describe a particular class of constructs.
  • Knot theory classifies the mappings of a circle into 3-space.
  • A hypothesis or conjecture.
  • * 1999 , Wes DeMott, Vapors :
  • It's just a theory I have, and I wonder if women would agree. But don't men say a lot about themselves when a short-skirted woman slides out of a car or chair?
  • * 2003 , Sean Coughlan, The Guardian , 21 Jun 2003:
  • The theory is that by stripping costs to the bone, they are able to offer ludicrously low fares.
  • (countable, logic) A set of axioms together with all statements derivable from them. Equivalently, a formal language plus a set of axioms (from which can then be derived theorems).
  • A theory is consistent if it has a model.

    Usage notes

    In scientific discourse, the sense “unproven conjecture” is discouraged (with hypothesis or conjecture preferred), due to unintentional ambiguity and intentional equivocation with the sense “well-developed statement or structure”.


    * See also


    * (in logic) formal system


    * (in logic) axioms

    Derived terms

    * acoustic theory * algorithmic information theory * antenna theory * atomic theory * catastrophe theory * category theory * cell theory * chaos theory * circuit theory * complexity theory * computation theory * control theory * critical theory * decision theory * domino theory * extreme value theory * game theory * giant impact theory * graph theory * group theory * in theory * information theory * kinetic theory of gases * knot theory * literary theory * music theory * number theory * opponent-process theory * phlogiston theory * probability theory * proof theory * quantum field theory * rational choice theory * set theory * signal theory * social theory * systems theory * theory of gravity * theory of relativity * theory of truth * Theory X * Theory Y * type theory * value theory * virtue theory

    See also

    * axiom * postulate * proposition Check translations




    (en noun)
  • One who is politically active in the role of a citizen; especially, one who campaigns for change.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-10, volume=408, issue=8848, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Can China clean up fast enough? , passage=It has jailed environmental activists and is planning to limit the power of judicial oversight by handing a state-approved body a monopoly over bringing environmental lawsuits.}}
  • One who is conspicuously active in carrying out any occupational or professional functions.
  • Derived terms

    * activistic * direct activist


    * mover and shaker


    (en adjective)
  • Behaving as an activist.
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