Like when you say something as an example. Like a hypothetical situation that may/may not be practical or technically not true but just there for the purpose of demonstration?

  • By the help of wormholes you can travel faster than light.

  • Popular belief is that he could cause sparks of fire/lightning just by the snapping his thumb and index fingers.

I know about rhetorical questions (ones that are asked for the sake of argument and are not expected to be answered). So can there be something like rhetorical statement/example? Also can rhetorical questions be used in the context of irony? Feel free to correct me. :)

  • I think you answered your own question with hypothetical.
    – psosuna
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 23:31
  • @psosuna Shouldn't rhetorical be the word? I thought hypothetical only applied to scientific scenarios.
    – user323059
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 9:34
  • 1
    I don’t think rhetoric describes your examples well. You may need to provide more context to show what effect the speaker was trying to achieve, and how the quoted part helped achieve that.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 1:01
  • 1
    You could consider thought experiment.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 1:19
  • Thanks for your input , your suggestions have been duly noted.
    – user323059
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 9:08

1 Answer 1


I thought I should give a proper answer to explain my comment.

From Oxford Dictionaries:


  1. Based on or serving as a hypothesis.
    let us take a hypothetical case
    1.1 Supposed but not necessarily real or true.
    the hypothetical tenth planet
    1.2 Logic Denoting or containing a proposition of the logical form if p then q.

I think the definition you're looking for is then 1.1, Supposed but not necessarily real or true. Here, there's no mention of said hypothesis needing to be rooted in science or the scientific method.

  • I understand, I'm just finding it a bit awkward to use 'hypothetical' to describe an example present in colliqual/trivial scenario.
    – user323059
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 9:10

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