n. pl. the·ses (-sēz)
1. A proposition that is maintained by argument.
2. A dissertation advancing an original point of view as a result of research, especially as a requirement for an academic degree.
3. A hypothetical proposition, especially one put forth without proof.
4. The first stage of the Hegelian dialectic process.
a. The long or accented part of a metrical foot, especially in quantitative verse.
b. The unaccented or short part of a metrical foot, especially in accentual verse.
6. Music The accented section of a measure.
[Latin, from Greek, from tithenai, to put; see dhē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Senses 5 and 6, Middle English, from Late Latin, lowering of the voice, from Greek, downbeat.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.