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

v construct a theory about

“Galileo theorized the motion of the stars”
Type of:
think logically

v form or construct theories

“he thinks and theorizes all day”
Type of:
think logically

v believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds

conjecture, hypothecate, hypothesise, hypothesize, speculate, suppose, theorise
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
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

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.