1 adj A theoretical study or explanation is based on or uses the ideas and abstract principles that relate to a particular subject, rather than the practical aspects or uses of it.
usu ADJ n
2 adj If you describe a situation as a theoretical one, you mean that although it is supposed to be true or to exist in the way stated, it may not in fact be true or exist in that way.
usu ADJ n
This is certainly a theoretical risk but in practice there is seldom a problem...
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"