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Definition of dissertation

Examples of dissertation in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dissertation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

1651, in the meaning defined above

Dictionary Entries Near dissertation


Cite this Entry

“Dissertation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissertation. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

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  • 1.1 Etymology
  • 1.2 Pronunciation
  • 1.3.1 Derived terms
  • 1.3.2 Related terms
  • 1.3.3 Translations
  • 1.4 References
  • 1.5 Further reading
  • 1.6 Anagrams
  • 2.1 Etymology
  • 2.2 Pronunciation
  • 3.1 Etymology
  • 3.2 Pronunciation
  • 3.3.1 Declension
  • 3.3.2 Descendants
  • 3.4 References

From Late Middle English thesis ( “ lowering of the voice ” ) [1] and also borrowed directly from its etymon Latin thesis ( “ proposition, thesis; lowering of the voice ” ) , from Ancient Greek θέσῐς ( thésis , “ arrangement, placement, setting; conclusion, position, thesis; lowering of the voice ” ) , from τῐ́θημῐ ( títhēmi , “ to place, put, set; to put down in writing; to consider as, regard ” ) [2] [3] (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁- ( “ to do; to place, put ” ) ) + -σῐς ( -sis , suffix forming abstract nouns or nouns of action, process, or result ) . The English word is a doublet of deed .

Sense 1.1 (“proposition or statement supported by arguments”) is adopted from antithesis . [2] Sense 1.4 (“initial stage of reasoning”) was first used by the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762–1814), and later applied to the dialectical method of his countryman, the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831).

The plural form theses is borrowed from Latin thesēs , from Ancient Greek θέσεις ( théseis ) .


  • ( Received Pronunciation ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθiːsɪs/ , ( archaic ) /ˈθɛsɪs/
Audio ( ): ( )
  • ( General American ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθisɪs/
  • Rhymes: -iːsɪs
  • Hyphenation: the‧sis
  • ( Received Pronunciation ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθiːsiːz/
  • ( General American ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθisiz/
  • Rhymes: -iːsiːz
  • Hyphenation: the‧ses

thesis ( plural theses )

  • ( rhetoric ) A proposition or statement supported by arguments .
  • 1766 , [ Oliver Goldsmith ], “The Conclusion”, in The Vicar of Wakefield:   [ … ] , volume II, Salisbury, Wiltshire: [ … ] B. Collins, for F [ rancis ] Newbery ,   [ … ] , →OCLC ; reprinted London: Elliot Stock , 1885 , →OCLC , pages 218–219 : I told them of the grave, becoming, and ſublime deportment they ſhould aſſume upon this myſtical occaſion, and read them two homilies and a theſis of my own compoſing, in order to prepare them.
  • ( mathematics , computer science ) A conjecture , especially one too vague to be formally stated or verified but useful as a working convention.
  • ( logic ) An affirmation , or distinction from a supposition or hypothesis .
  • ( philosophy ) In the dialectical method of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel : the initial stage of reasoning where a formal statement of a point is developed ; this is followed by antithesis and synthesis .
  • ( music , prosody , originally ) The action of lowering the hand or bringing down the foot when indicating a rhythm ; hence, an accented part of a measure of music or verse indicated by this action; an ictus , a stress . Antonym: arsis
  • ( music , prosody , with a reversal of meaning ) A depression of the voice when pronouncing a syllables of a word ; hence, the unstressed part of the metrical foot of a verse upon which such a depression falls , or an unaccented musical note .

Derived terms

  • all but thesis
  • bachelor's thesis
  • Church-Turing thesis
  • conflict thesis
  • doctoral thesis
  • graduate thesis
  • Habakkuk thesis
  • master's thesis
  • Merton thesis
  • private language thesis
  • thesis defense
  • thesis film
  • thesis statement

Related terms


  (tʻez)   ,   (tézis),   (palažénnje),   (téza)     (téza),     (tézis)     (leon dim ), (leon tai )   (lùndiǎn),   (lùntí)       ,             ,             (tezisi)       (thésis)       ,       (tēze),   (ろんだい, rondai),   (しゅちょう, shuchō),   (ていりつ, teiritsu) (teje), (nonje), (ronje) (North Korea)     (teza)                 (tɛ́zis),     (položénije)                   ,   ,   ,   ,     (téza),   (tézys),   (polóžennja)  
  (ʔuṭrūḥa)   (atenaxosutʻyun),   (disertacʻia), (diplomayin ašxatankʻ)     (dysjertácyja),   (dysertácyja),   (dyplómnaja rabóta)     (disertácija)     ,     (leon man )   (lùnwén)     ,       ,     ,       ,   ;   ;           ,   (diserṭacia)     ,     ,     ,     ,     ,     (only a doctoral thesis) (mahāśodh nibandh)     (téza)   ,   (postgraduate),           (ろんぶん, ronbun) (dissertasiä), (diplomdyq jūmys)   (nɨkkheepaʼbɑt)   (nonmun),   (ronmun) (North Korea) (dissertatsiya)   (wi tha nyā ni phon)         (disertacija)   or     , (pâyân-nâme),       ,           ,         (dissertácija),   (diplómnaja rabóta)         ,     ,         ,     (dissertatsiya)   (wít-tá-yaa-ní-pon),   (bpà-rin-yaa-ní-pon),   (ní-pon)   , ,   (dysertácija),   (dyplómna robóta)   , ,  
  • ^ “ thē̆sis, n. ”, in MED Online , Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan , 2007 .
  • ^ “ thesis, n. ”, in Lexico , Dictionary.com ; Oxford University Press , 2019–2022 .

Further reading

  • “ thesis ”, in The Century Dictionary   [ … ] , New York, N.Y.: The Century Co. , 1911 , →OCLC .
  • “ thesis ”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary , Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam , 1913 , →OCLC .
  • Heists , Sethis , heists , shiest , shites , sithes , thises

From Latin thesis , from Ancient Greek θέσις ( thésis , “ a proposition, a statement, a thing laid down, thesis in rhetoric, thesis in prosody ” ) .

Audio: ( )

thesis   f ( plural theses or thesissen , diminutive thesisje   n )

  • Dated form of these . Synonyms: dissertatie , proefschrift , scriptie

From Ancient Greek θέσις ( thésis , “ a proposition, a statement, a thing laid down, thesis in rhetoric, thesis in prosody ” ) .

  • ( Classical Latin ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈtʰe.sis/ , [ˈt̪ʰɛs̠ɪs̠]
  • ( modern Italianate Ecclesiastical ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈte.sis/ , [ˈt̪ɛːs̬is]

thesis   f ( genitive thesis ) ; third declension

Case Singular Plural


  • → Dutch: thesis
  • → Armenian: թեզ ( tʻez )
  • → Dutch: these
  • → Persian: تز ( tez )
  • → Romanian: teză
  • → Turkish: tez
  • Galician: tese
  • Italian: tesi
  • English: thesis
  • Portuguese: tese
  • Spanish: tesis
  • “ thesis ”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short ( 1879 ) A Latin Dictionary , Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • thesis in Gaffiot, Félix ( 1934 ) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français , Hachette.

etymology of word dissertation

  • English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
  • English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeh₁-
  • English terms inherited from Middle English
  • English terms derived from Middle English
  • English terms borrowed from Latin
  • English terms derived from Latin
  • English terms derived from Ancient Greek
  • English doublets
  • English 2-syllable words
  • English terms with IPA pronunciation
  • English terms with audio links
  • Rhymes:English/iːsɪs
  • Rhymes:English/iːsɪs/2 syllables
  • Rhymes:English/iːsiːz
  • Rhymes:English/iːsiːz/2 syllables
  • English lemmas
  • English nouns
  • English countable nouns
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  • en:Rhetoric
  • English terms with quotations
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  • en:Computer science
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  • Dutch terms with audio links
  • Dutch lemmas
  • Dutch nouns
  • Dutch nouns with Latin plurals
  • Dutch nouns with plural in -en
  • Dutch feminine nouns
  • Dutch dated forms
  • Latin terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
  • Latin terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeh₁-
  • Latin terms borrowed from Ancient Greek
  • Latin terms derived from Ancient Greek
  • Latin 2-syllable words
  • Latin terms with IPA pronunciation
  • Latin lemmas
  • Latin nouns
  • Latin third declension nouns
  • Latin feminine nouns in the third declension
  • Latin feminine nouns
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Thesis, Dissertation and Project

  • First Online: 04 November 2018

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etymology of word dissertation

  • Subhash Chandra Parija 3 &
  • Vikram Kate 4  

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Roberts CM. The dissertation journey. 2nd ed. New York: Corwin; 2010.

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Terrel SR. Writing a proposal for your dissertation: guidelines and examples. New York: The Guilford Press; 2016.

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Gliner JA, Morgan GA, Leech NL. Research methods in applied settings: an integrated approach to design and analysis. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge; 2017.

Perrier L, Blondal E, Ayala AP, et al. Research data management in academic institutions, a scoping review. PLoS One. 2017;12:e0178261.

Kate V, Sureshkumar S, Mohsina S. Abstract and key words. In: Parija SC, Kate V, editors. Parija and Kate’s research book series -I— Writing and publishing a scientific research paper . New Delhi: Springer; 2017. p. 27–37.

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Parija SC, Kate V. Why write a research scientificpaper? In: Parija SC, Kate V, editors. Parija and Kate’s research book series -I— Writing and publishing a scientific research paper . New Delhi: Springer; 2017. p. 3–8.

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Parija, S.C., Kate, V. (2018). Thesis, Dissertation and Project. In: Parija, S., Kate, V. (eds) Thesis Writing for Master's and Ph.D. Program. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0890-1_1

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thesis noun

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What does the noun thesis mean?

There are seven meanings listed in OED's entry for the noun thesis . See ‘Meaning & use’ for definitions, usage, and quotation evidence.

thesis has developed meanings and uses in subjects including

Entry status

OED is undergoing a continuous programme of revision to modernize and improve definitions. This entry has not yet been fully revised.

How common is the noun thesis ?

How is the noun thesis pronounced?

British english, u.s. english, where does the noun thesis come from.

Earliest known use

Middle English

The earliest known use of the noun thesis is in the Middle English period (1150—1500).

OED's earliest evidence for thesis is from before 1398, in a translation by John Trevisa, translator.

thesis is a borrowing from Greek.

Etymons: Greek θέσις .

Nearby entries

  • thesaurus, n. 1823–
  • thesaury, n. a1639–1708
  • these, n. a1600–48
  • these, pron. & adj. Old English–
  • Thesean, adj. 1815–
  • Theseid, n. 1725–
  • Theseium, n. 1819–
  • these-like, adj. 1644–
  • thesial, adj. 1654
  • thesicle, n. 1863–
  • thesis, n. a1398–
  • thesis-novel, n. 1934–
  • thesis-play, n. 1902–
  • thesmophilist, n. 1644–
  • Thesmophorian, adj. 1891–
  • Thesmophoric, adj. 1788–
  • thesmothete, n. 1603–
  • thesocyte, n. 1887–
  • thesp, n. 1962–
  • Thespian, adj. & n. 1675–
  • Thespianism, n. 1914–

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Meaning & use

Pronunciation, compounds & derived words, entry history for thesis, n..

thesis, n. was first published in 1912; not yet revised.

thesis, n. was last modified in December 2023.

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Definition of dissertation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • dissertation
  • He wrote his Master's dissertation on rats.
  • Students can either do a dissertation or take part in a practical project.
  • hall of residence
  • Candidates are required to present a dissertation of between 8 000 and 12 000 words.
  • She is writing her dissertation on the history of the Knights Templar.
  • dissertation on

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etymology of word dissertation

Etymological Analysis of English Words

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Thesis etymology

English word thesis comes from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁-, Proto-Indo-European - -tis, and later Proto-Indo-European *dʰédʰeh₁ti (To be doing. To be putting, placing.)

Etymology of thesis

Detailed word origin of thesis.

Dictionary entry Language Definition
*dʰeh₁- Proto-Indo-European
- -tis Proto-Indo-European
*dʰédʰeh₁ti Proto-Indo-European To be doing. To be putting, placing.
*dʰéh₁tis Proto-Indo-European Act of putting, placement.
τίθημι Ancient Greek
*tʰétis Proto-Hellenic Arrangement. Placement. Setting.
θέσις Ancient Greek
thesis Latin Thesis.
thesis English (logic) An affirmation, or distinction from a supposition or hypothesis.. (music) The accented part of the measure, expressed by the downward beat; the opposite of arsis.. (poetry) The depression of the voice in pronouncing the syllables of a word.. (poetry) The part of the metrical foot upon which such a depression falls.. A statement supported by arguments.. A written essay, especially one [...]

Words with the same origin as thesis

Descendants of *dʰeh₁-, descendants of - -tis.

Supporting writers since 1790

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  • Introduction

What is a dissertation? How is it different from an essay?

  • Getting it down on paper
  • Drafting and rewriting
  • Planning your dissertation
  • Planning for length
  • Planning for content
  • Abstracts, tone, unity of style
  • General comments

There are some obvious differences: an essay is relatively short – usually 1500 to 2500 words – and you are told clearly what to do by someone else. For example: Describe and evaluate major theories of globalisation.

A dissertation is a subject you chose for yourself. The first usage of the word in the English language in 1651 also gives a useful starting definition: “an extended written treatment of a subject”.

Another useful clue is found in the Latin origin of the word – dissertation comes from a Latin word ‘dissertare’ = ‘to debate’.

What does the word ‘debate’ imply? A discussion involving different points of view or sets of ideas. A dissertation will therefore not only examine a subject but will review different points of view about that subject.

Here’s another definition that underlines some more important characteristics of a dissertation: “a substantial paper that is typically based on original research and that gives evidence of the candidate’s mastery both of her own subject and of scholarly method.”

A dissertation will show that the writer knows her subject, the key facts and different points of view in it – but it also advances a point of view resulting from original research. Remember that ‘original’ does not mean ‘something that’s never been done before’ but rather ‘something that you do for yourself’.

A dissertation also “gives evidence of the candidate’s mastery […] of scholarly method”. This sounds terribly daunting but don’t be put off. The phrase is telling you that you will have to lift your game to write a successful dissertation. ‘Scholarly method’ means that you will be expected to do more and better reading and research than for a standard undergraduate essay. It means that your work will display accuracy and skill in its investigation and discussion of a subject. It means that your discussion will give evidence of critical analysis i.e. standing back from your subject and weighing up pros and cons. It means you will show that you understand that, for example, aspects of particular theories or viewpoints are open to question.

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[ thee -sis ]

He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.

Synonyms: proposal , contention , theory

  • a subject for a composition or essay.
  • a dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.
  • Music. the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. Compare arsis ( def 1 ) .
  • a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.
  • (less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. Compare arsis ( def 2 ) .
  • Philosophy. Hegelian dialectic

/ ˈθiːsɪs /

  • a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma
  • a doctrine maintained or promoted in argument
  • a subject for a discussion or essay
  • an unproved statement, esp one put forward as a premise in an argument
  • music the downbeat of a bar, as indicated in conducting
  • (in classical prosody) the syllable or part of a metrical foot not receiving the ictus Compare arsis
  • philosophy the first stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that is challenged by the antithesis
  • The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence .

Word History and Origins

Origin of thesis 1

Example Sentences

“The Saudis have been proving the thesis of the film — they do in fact have an army,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which funded the movie.

It’s a hypothesis that Bush pursued in her master’s thesis, and last year she began attending virtual Goth parties in a final round of field work before defending her doctoral thesis later this year.

While this partnership was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, co-founder Jordana Kier said the pandemic instantly proved out the expansion thesis.

They’ve had to defend that thesis for a very, very long time in front of a variety of different customers and different people.

Over the past decade, In-Q-Tel has been one of the most active investors in the commercial space sector, with a broad investment thesis that touches many aspects of the sector.

In “Back Home,” Gil also revisits the nostalgia for the South explored in his Johns Hopkins thesis, “Circle of Stone.”

At least father and son were in alignment on this central thesis: acting “gay”—bad; being thought of as gay—bad.

Her doctoral thesis, says Ramin Takloo at the University of Illinois, was simply outstanding.

Marshall McLuhan long ago argued the now accepted thesis that different mediums have different influences on thinking.

He wrote his Master's thesis on the underrepresentation of young people in Congress.

And indeed for most young men a college thesis is but an exercise for sharpening the wits, rarely dangerous in its later effects.

It will be for the reader to determine whether the main thesis of the book has gained or lost by the new evidence.

But the word thesis, when applied to Systems, does not mean the 'position' of single notes, but of groups of notes.

This conclusion, it need hardly be said, is in entire agreement with the main thesis of the preceding pages.

Sundry outlying Indians, with ammunition to waste, took belly and knee rests and strengthened the thesis to the contrary.

Related Words

  • proposition
  • supposition

What Is The Plural Of Thesis?

Plural word for  thesis.

The plural form of thesis is theses , pronounced [ thee -seez ]. The plurals of several other singular words that end in -is are also formed in this way, including hypothesis / hypotheses , crisis / crises , and axis / axes . A similar change is made when pluralizing appendix as appendices . 

Irregular plurals that are formed like theses derive directly from their original pluralization in Latin and Greek.

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Origin of the thesis-degree procedure

It just came to my mind, currently if one wants to obtain an academic degree one must to do a thesis. This is a widely accepted method to prove the knowledge of certain academic level, sort to say. But my questions are, where this method was originated? Which historical or social circumstances originated it? Is there any philosophical background?

  • academic-history

Suresh's user avatar

  • This might also be of interest in HSM . –  vonbrand Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 17:08

2 Answers 2

(note: I have no references for the below, nor am I qualified in the topic)

First of all, the premise of your question isn't quite accurate: certainly in the UK it's very common for undergraduate degrees to have no thesis requirement. But putting that aside:

I think there are parallels with other mediaeval professions, which required proof of skill in order to become a member of a guild (the professional organisation). To be a 'master' of the guild one had to produce a 'masterpiece' (the origin of that word); this has obvious parallels with the idea of a thesis proving that an individual should be admitted to a degree (remember that historically a degree is more like a rank than an award, honour or qualification).

The MA at Oxford and Cambridge is still awarded automatically to those with a BA seven years after the start of the degree, which I believe matches the time someone in a professional guild would take to become a master.

Note also that the modern doctorate is a much more recent invention than the MA.

dbmag9's user avatar

  • You're right, question was not bounded correctly. In Mexico there's algo degrees without thesis requirement, but at least to obtain a PhD in sciences I think it's a must (I guess this applies also to other branches of knowledge). –  user2820579 Commented May 10, 2014 at 22:04
  • 1 Hey, I just got my Oxbridge MA, I worked very hard for it!! :-) –  dr.blochwave Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 13:33

A bit if history. The history of thesis is intertwined with the history of universities in the 12th and 13th century.. The early history of universities is not clear but with time systems develop on how information/knowledge is taught and discussed. The end (so far) result is what we have today. The written thesis is based on the fact that ideas need to be made more permanent than oral traditions. the advent of printing made wider distribution of copies possible. The first degrees were the baccaulerate and magister artium which corresponded to doctor in certain disciplines.

The thesis was originally what the word describes a thought or thinking that needed defending, which goes backs to Aristotle and Plato. As soon as writing was possible, the idea was to put the ideas down in writing and hence a written thesis was born. One has to remember that teaching early on did not necessarily occur as lectures, it could be mentioning and learned discussions. At the same time knowledge was not as structured and defined as now.

early on the teacher actually wrote the thesis and t was the students job to defend it. So the focus was less on developing knowledge but to defend a thesis with arguments and logic. During the renaissance the thesis in a form we can recognise was developed. These texts were called dissertatio (lat. development, presentation) where as the defence was named disputatio (lat. c. learned argument). From these relatively common beginnings different "cultures" developed which now are reflected in differences between countries in how a thesis is defined and defended.

Much more details can probably be added to this but the core is covered. There is no necessary connection between a degree and a thesis. Certainly not at a bachelor's leverl and it is also possible at a master's level. Differences also exist between disciplines.

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etymology of word dissertation


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Dictionary definition of thesis

A statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved. "The thesis was published in an academic journal and received widespread recognition."

Detailed meaning of thesis

The thesis is typically a central idea or argument that is developed and presented in a written work, such as a dissertation or research paper. In higher education, a thesis is often a requirement for a graduate degree, such as a Master's or a PhD. The thesis is usually written under the supervision of a thesis advisor or mentor, and it presents original research or an original interpretation of existing research on a specific topic. The main purpose of a thesis is to contribute new knowledge and understanding to the field of study. It must be based on a rigorous research, the results must be presented in a logical and coherent manner and it must be written in a scholarly manner. Additionally, the thesis should demonstrate the student's ability to conduct independent research, to critically evaluate the existing literature, and to communicate their ideas effectively.

Example sentences containing thesis

1. Her thesis on renewable energy proposed innovative solutions for sustainability. 2. The professor praised the clarity of his student's thesis on social inequality. 3. The thesis of his argument was that technology enhances human communication. 4. The thesis of the book challenged conventional wisdom on economic policy. 5. Grad students often spend years researching and writing their theses. 6. The thesis behind the research project aimed to address pressing health issues.

History and etymology of thesis

The noun ' thesis ' has its etymological roots in ancient Greek. It is derived from the Greek word 'θέσις' (thésis), which means 'a setting down' or 'a position.' In the context of ancient Greece, ' thesis ' was used to refer to a proposition or statement that was put forward as the basis of an argument or discussion. It represented a foundational idea or premise that was to be maintained or proved through reasoning and evidence. As the term entered the English language, it retained this fundamental sense and is now commonly used to describe a statement or theory that serves as the central point of an argument or research project. It embodies the concept of a position or assertion that is presented for examination and verification. Therefore, the etymology of ' thesis ' underscores its use as a noun to denote a statement or theory set forth as a premise to be upheld or substantiated.

Quiz: Find the meaning of thesis

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Further usage examples of thesis

1. She defended her thesis before a panel of expert examiners. 2. The conference featured presentations on a wide range of academic theses. 3. His groundbreaking thesis reshaped the field of quantum physics. 4. The thesis statement should encapsulate the main argument of your essay. 5. The thesis explored the intersection of art, culture, and identity in society. 6. The professor praised the student's thesis for its originality and depth. 7. His thesis explored the intersection of psychology and literature. 8. The defense of her thesis was a nerve-wracking but rewarding experience. 9. The thesis statement succinctly summarized the main argument of the paper. 10. The committee members engaged in a lively debate about the merits of the thesis . 11. The thesis proposed a new framework for understanding economic inequality. 12. After hours of editing, her thesis was finally ready for submission. 13. The library had an extensive collection of theses from various academic fields. 14. He was awarded a scholarship for his outstanding thesis on urban planning. 15. The thesis challenged existing theories and presented a fresh perspective. 16. The thesis project required extensive fieldwork and data analysis. 17. Her thesis was published in a reputable journal, gaining widespread recognition. 18. The thesis defense was attended by faculty members, peers, and family. 19. The thesis examined the historical context of the Renaissance art movement. 20. The graduate student presented her thesis findings at an international conference. 21. The thesis highlighted the need for further research in the field of genetics. 22. The thesis concluded with a call to action for policy changes in healthcare. 23. The advisor provided valuable guidance throughout the thesis writing process. 24. The thesis was a culmination of years of research and academic dedication.

proposition, fact, certainty, proof

https://static.wixstatic.com/media/eb68db_c76b20eee4f544739692acee8c95f51e~mv2.jpg, https://static.wixstatic.com/media/eb68db_14656208e4464bb1a273d7ac7b8c2c94~mv2.jpg, https://static.wixstatic.com/media/eb68db_c3952e52756542aa8faaaa2b25f9be00~mv2.jpg, https://static.wixstatic.com/media/eb68db_d757bc63d7994d5a85f0a9fb1a72ce57~mv2.jpg, https://static.wixstatic.com/media/eb68db_2cfea7e709504d5c8f6e4f13a02e7288~mv2.jpg, https://static.wixstatic.com/media/eb68db_8d472ca04c55431b968d52a6a249030a~mv2.jpg

Advancement and Improvement, Analytical and Interpretive, Nuance and Precision, Resilience and Resolve, Endeavor and Pursuit, Education and Mastery




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The Greek Island of Lesbos and the Origin of the Word ‘Lesbian’

Sappho and Erinna

Modern English, and indeed many languages, borrow a plethora of words from ancient Greek . One particularly interesting word is “lesbian”, today used to describe a homosexual woman who is attracted to other women, but the root of the word is tied to the Greek island of Lesbos.

“Lesbian” is a demonym for the inhabitants of Lesbos, also spelled as Lesvos, so why does it today describe female homosexuality? The answer is bound to the reputation of the island itself and the written work of an ancient Greek poet named Sappho.

The ancient Greeks themselves would have been confused by the term as it is used today since sexuality in Classical Greece and elsewhere in the ancient world was conceived differently and typically had more to do with one’s romantic role than gender. To answer our question, we must therefore examine how language has evolved over time.

The etymology of “lesbian” and its link to Lesbos

Unsurprisingly, the island did not have an above-average population of women who were attracted to the same sex in ancient times. Rather, the etymology of the word lesbian is linked to one of Lesbos’ most famous inhabitants.

The island was the birthplace of the ancient Greek poet Sappho , who lived around the 6th century BC. Sappho was known for her lyrical poems, many of which have been interpreted as expressing love and desire for other women.

The etymology of the word “lesbian” is therefore commonly attributed to Sappho herself. The word “Sapphic” also refers to feelings of desire between women.

Further explanation

However, Professor of Classical Studies Kate Gilhuly has suggested a more complex explanation.

Gilhuly writes : “Although Sappho’s poetry was well known throughout antiquity, her sexual orientation is not explicitly defined until centuries after her death, and when Lesbos is directly associated with women who love other women in Lucian’s Dialogues of the Courtesans, Sappho is not explicitly named.”

In other words, Sappho was not explicitly identified as a lesbian in ancient times, nor is it entirely clear that the association between Lesbos and same-sex attraction between women began with the ancient Greek poet .

Gilhuly continues, writing that “there is a significant gap bridged by associating one person’s birthplace and her sexual orientation, and a still more significant gap between every single person from all the cities and villages on the island of Lesbos and a collective sexual orientation.”

Instead, Gilhuly argues that ancient Athenian perceptions of Lesbos being an island full of beautiful but promiscuous women may also have contributed to the etymology of the word “lesbian”. These attitudes were entrenched as stereotypes in plays and written works by individuals like the ancient satirist Lucian.

According to Gilhuly, “a complex, centuries-long collocation of cultural conceptions about the culture of Lesbos, combined with Athenian comic practice, the representation of the courtesan, and the reception of Sappho, eventually paved the way for the strong association of Lesbos with an image of alternative feminine sexuality.”

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The document, its origins and the interplay between it and the Trump campaign have made for one of the most hotly debated questions of the 2024 race.

Here is what to know about Project 2025, and who is behind it.

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hypothesis (n.)

1590s, "a particular statement;" 1650s, "a proposition, assumed and taken for granted, used as a premise," from French hypothese and directly from Late Latin hypothesis , from Greek hypothesis "base, groundwork, foundation," hence in extended use "basis of an argument, supposition," literally "a placing under," from hypo- "under" (see hypo- ) + thesis "a placing, proposition" (from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). A term in logic; narrower scientific sense is from 1640s.

Entries linking to hypothesis

1530s, "action, a thing performed, anything done, a deed," good or evil but in 16c.-17c. commonly "evil deed, crime;" from Latin factum "an event, occurrence, deed, achievement," in Medieval Latin also "state, condition, circumstance" (source also of Old French fait , Spanish hecho , Italian fatto ), etymologically "a thing done," noun use of neuter of factus , past participle of facere "to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

An earlier adaptation of the Old French word that also became feat . The older senses are mostly obsolete but somewhat preserved in such phrases as after the fact , originally legal, "after the crime." Also compare matter-of-fact .

The modern, empirical, sense of "thing known to be true, a real state of things, what has really occurred or is actually the case," as distinguished from statement or belief , is from 1630s, from the notion of "something that has actually occurred." The particular concept of the scientific, empirical fact ("a truth known by observation or authentic testimony") emerged in English 1660s, via Hooke, Boyle, etc., in The Royal Society, as part of the creation of the modern vocabulary of knowledge (along with theory , hypothesis , etc.); in early 18c. it was associated with the philosophical writings of Hume. Middle English thus lacked the noun and the idea of it; the closest expression being perhaps thing proved (c.1500).

Hence facts "real state of things;" in fact "in reality" (1707). By 1729, fact was being used of "something presented as a fact but which might be or is false."

By fact is also often meant a true statement, a truth, or truth in general ; but this seems to be a mere inexactness of language .... Fact , as being special, is sometimes opposed to truth , as being universal ; and in such cases there is an implication that facts are minute matters ascertained by research, and often inferior in their importance for the formation of general opinions, or for the general description of phenomena, to other matters which are of familiar experience. [Century Dictionary]

Facts of life is by 1854 as "the stark realities of existence;" by 1913 it had also acquired a more specific sense of "knowledge of human sexual functions." The alliterative pairing of facts and figures for "precise information" is by 1727.

Facts and Figures are the most stubborn Evidences; they neither yield to the most persuasive Eloquence, nor bend to the most imperious Authority. [Abel Boyer, "The Political State of Great Britain," 1727]

plural of hypothesis .



  • supposition
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  1. dissertation

    "discussion, debate" (a sense now obsolete), from Late Latin dissertationem (nominative… See origin and meaning of dissertation.

  2. thesis

    "unaccented syllable or note, a lowering of the voice in music," from Latin thesis… See origin and meaning of thesis.

  3. Thesis

    Etymology The term thesis comes from the Greek word θέσις, meaning "something put forth", and refers to an intellectual proposition. Dissertation comes from the Latin dissertātiō, meaning "discussion". Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis.

  4. dissertation

    dissertation (plural dissertations) A formal exposition of a subject, especially a research paper that students write in order to complete the requirements for a doctoral degree in the US and a non-doctoral degree in the UK; a thesis . A lengthy lecture on a subject; a treatise; a discourse; a sermon.

  5. Thesis Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of THESIS is a dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view; especially : one written by a candidate for an academic degree. How to use thesis in a sentence. Did you know?

  6. Etymonline

    The online etymology dictionary (etymonline) is the internet's go-to source for quick and reliable accounts of the origin and history of English words, phrases, and idioms. It is professional enough to satisfy academic standards, but accessible enough to be used by anyone.

  7. Dissertation Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of DISSERTATION is an extended usually written treatment of a subject; specifically : one submitted for a doctorate. How to use dissertation in a sentence.

  8. thesis

    thesis (plural theses) ( rhetoric) A proposition or statement supported by arguments. (by extension) A lengthy essay written to establish the validity of a thesis (sense 1.1), especially one submitted in order to complete the requirements for a non- doctoral degree in the US and a doctoral degree in the UK; a dissertation .

  9. PDF Etymological Wordnet: Tracing The History of Words

    Abstract Research on the history of words has led to remarkable insights about language and also about the history of human civilization more generally. This paper presents the Etymological Wordnet, the first database that aims at making word origin information available as a large, machine-readable network of words in many languages.

  10. Dissertation etymology in English

    English word dissertation comes from Latin serere, Latin dissero, Latin dis-, Latin sero, Latin dissertare, and later Latin dissertatio ((sp…

  11. Thesis, Dissertation and Project

    The word 'dissertation' is derived from the Latin word "dissertare" which means 'to discuss'. Oxford Dictionary defines dissertation as 'a long essay on a particular subject or topic especially written for a university degree or diploma'.

  12. thesis, n. meanings, etymology and more

    What does the noun thesis mean? There are seven meanings listed in OED's entry for the noun thesis. See 'Meaning & use' for definitions, usage, and quotation evidence. thesis has developed meanings and uses in subjects including prosody (Middle English) music (Middle English) rhetoric (late 1500s) logic (late 1500s) education (late 1700s) philosophy (1830s)

  13. DISSERTATION Definition & Meaning

    Dissertation definition: a written essay, treatise, or thesis, especially one written by a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.. See examples of DISSERTATION used in a sentence.

  14. dissertation

    Definition of dissertation noun in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more.

  15. Etymological Analysis of English Words

    This paper is the brief description of borrowed words and etymology of the English language words based on documentary analysis.

  16. Thesis etymology in English

    thesis. English (en) (logic) An affirmation, or distinction from a supposition or hypothesis.. (music) The accented part of the measure, expressed by the downward beat; the opposite of arsis.. (poetry) The depression of the voice in pronouncing the syllables of a word.. (poetry) The part of the metrical foot upon which such a depression falls..

  17. Dissertation Definition & Meaning

    Dissertation definition: A lengthy, formal treatise, especially one written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university; a thesis.

  18. What is a dissertation? How is it different from an essay?

    A dissertation is a subject you chose for yourself. The first usage of the word in the English language in 1651 also gives a useful starting definition: "an extended written treatment of a subject".

  19. What Is a University Dissertation: 2024 Structure, Challenges & Writing

    The term dissertation is derived from the Latin word dissertationem (nominative dissertatio or past-participle stem dissertare ), which means to argue or debate (Online Etymology Dictionary).

  20. THESIS Definition & Meaning

    Thesis definition: a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections. See examples of THESIS used in a sentence.

  21. Origin of the thesis-degree procedure

    To be a 'master' of the guild one had to produce a 'masterpiece' (the origin of that word); this has obvious parallels with the idea of a thesis proving that an individual should be admitted to a degree (remember that historically a degree is more like a rank than an award, honour or qualification).

  22. Thesis

    The noun 'thesis' has its etymological roots in ancient Greek. It is derived from the Greek word 'θέσις' (thésis), which means 'a setting down' or 'a position.' In the context of ancient Greece, 'thesis' was used to refer to a proposition or statement that was put forward as the basis of an argument or discussion.

  23. The Greek Island of Lesbos and the Origin of the Word 'Lesbian'

    Modern English, and indeed many languages, borrow a plethora of words from ancient Greek. One particularly interesting word is "lesbian", today used to describe a homosexual woman who is attracted to other women, but the root of the word is tied to the Greek island of Lesbos.

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    The Biden campaign has attacked Donald J. Trump's ties to the conservative policy plan that would amass power in the executive branch, though it is not his official platform.

  25. hypothesis

    hypothesis. (n.) 1590s, "a particular statement;" 1650s, "a proposition, assumed and taken for granted, used as a premise," from French hypothese and directly from Late Latin hypothesis, from Greek hypothesis "base, groundwork, foundation," hence in extended use "basis of an argument, supposition," literally "a placing under," from hypo- "under ...

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