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npl  -e*ses   :  a proposition tentatively assumed in order to draw out its logical or empirical consequences and test its consistency with facts that are known or may be determined <it appears, then, to be a condition of the most genuinely scientific that it be … of such a nature as to be either proved or disproved by comparison with observed facts -J. S. Mill>  <most of the great unifying conceptions of modern science are working hypotheses -Bernard Bosanquet>  .
Similar sounding terms:  pa·tho·sis 

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