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1. The political theory that, if one country or area adopts communism, then the surrounding ones will as well. The domino theory was a major concern as the Soviet Union expanded its power after World War II.
2. By extension, the idea that an event in one country will result in similar events in the surrounding countries. The string of revolutions that occurred in neighboring countries during the Arab Spring was a great example of domino theory in action.
Hypothetically; as a possibility. As opposed to in reality or in practice. In theory, we could drive to the mountains for a quick ski session before our flight tomorrow evening, but I think it would be cutting it too close. These magnets are supposed to regulate the body's natural energy, in theory anyway.
according to a theory; theoretically. In theory, if I take my medicine regularly, I will get well. How things work in theory doesn't always match with how things work in reality.
ounce of common sense is worth a pound of theory
Prov. Common sense will help you solve problems more than theory will. The psychologist had many elaborate theories about how to raise her child, but often forgot that an ounce of common sense is worth a pound of theory.