Nonsense vs Theory - What's the difference?

nonsense | theory |

As nouns the difference between nonsense and theory

is that nonsense is letters or words, in writing or speech, that have no meaning or seem to have no meaning while theory is (obsolete) mental conception; reflection, consideration.

As a verb nonsense

is to make nonsense of.

As an adjective nonsense

is resulting from the substitution of a nucleotide in a sense codon, causing it to become a stop codon (not coding for an amino-acid).



Alternative forms

* nonsence (archaic)


(wikipedia nonsense) (en-noun)
  • Letters or words, in writing or speech, that have no meaning or seem to have no meaning.
  • After my father had a stroke, every time he tried to talk, it sounded like nonsense .
  • An untrue statement.
  • He says that I stole his computer, but that's just nonsense .
  • Something foolish.
  • * 2008 , "Nick Leeson has some lessons for this collapse",, Oct 9, 2008
  • and central banks lend vast sums against marshmallow backed securities, or other nonsenses creative bankers dreamed up.
  • (literature) A type of poetry that contains strange or surreal ideas, as, for example, that written by .
  • (biology) A damaged DNA sequence whose products are not biologically active, that is, that does nothing.
  • Synonyms

    : See * (something that lacks meaning or absurd statement) ** (mostly colloquialisms or slang) balderdash, baloney, bull, bulldust, bunk, codswallop, drivel, gibberish, hogwash, hooey (US), horse hockey, malarkey, manure, poppycock, prattle, rhubarb (chiefly British), rubbish, twaddle ** (vulgar slang) bollocks (British), bullshit, crap, horseshit (US)

    Derived terms

    * nonsensical * nonsensification * nonsensify

    See also

    * (biology) missense


  • To make nonsense of
  • * Bernard Shaw, "The Red Robe", in James Huneker ed., Dramatic Opinions and Essays by G. Bernard Shaw , volume II, page 73:
  • At the Haymarket all this is nonsensed by an endeavor to steer between Mr. Stanley Weyman's rights as author of the story and the prescriptive right of the leading actor to fight popularly and heroically against heavy odds.
  • To attempt to dismiss as nonsense.
  • * 1997 , "Rockies respond to whip", Denver Post , Jun 3, 1997:
  • "They haven't nonsensed these workouts. They've taken them and used them very well. I didn't know how they'd respond, but they've responded."
  • * 2000 , Leon Garfield, Jason Cockcroft, Jack Holborn , page 131:
  • Very commanding: very much 'end of this nonsensing' . Mister Fared spread his hands and shook his thin head imperceptibly, as if to say he understood
  • * 2006 , Sierra Leone: Petroleum Unit Calls for Auditing ,, Mar 17, 2006:
  • He further nonsensed press suggestions that the Petroleum Unit was set up to assist in the administration of sporting activities.
  • To joke around, to waste time
  • * 1963 , C. F. Griffin, The Impermanence of Heroes , page 170:
  • When he meant "go and get one" he said to go and get one, with no nonsensing around about "liking" to get one.


    * pooh-pooh, rubbish, whangdoodle


    (en adjective)
  • Resulting from the substitution of a nucleotide in a sense codon, causing it to become a stop codon (not coding for an amino-acid).
  • theory



  • (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