Something theoretical is concerned with theories and hypotheses — it's not necessarily based on real life or meant to be applied to real life.

Theoretical things are based on theory and ideas, while practical ones are based on practice. Theoretical thinking can be really helpful when you're trying to imagine something or problem-solve, but your theories should always be tested out in the practical world. As philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilized men.”

Definitions of theoretical

adj concerned primarily with theories or hypotheses rather than practical considerations

theoretical science”
of an abstracting nature or having the power of abstracting
a priori
based on hypothesis or theory rather than experiment
conjectural, divinatory, hypothetic, hypothetical, supposed, suppositional, suppositious, supposititious
based primarily on surmise rather than adequate evidence
notional, speculative
not based on fact or investigation
highly abstract and overly theoretical
based in theory rather than experiment
empiric, empirical
derived from experiment and observation rather than theory
a posteriori
requiring evidence for validation or support
confirmable, falsifiable, verifiable
capable of being tested (verified or falsified) by experiment or observation
existential, experiential
derived from experience or the experience of existence
data-based, experimental, observational
relying on observation or experiment
of the nature of or undergoing an experiment
relying to some extent on observation or experiment
trying out various means or theories until error is satisfactorily reduced or eliminated
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adj concerned with theories rather than their practical applications

theoretical physics”
dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention
hypothetical or theoretical and not expected to produce an immediate or practical result
concerned with theory and data rather than practice; opposed to applied
concerned with concrete problems or data rather than with fundamental principles
used or applied in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law
having or put to a practical purpose or use
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