predicate

noun
pred·​i·​cate | \ ˈpre-di-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio) \

Definition of predicate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : something that is affirmed or denied of the subject in a proposition in logic
b : a term designating a property or relation
2 : the part of a sentence or clause that expresses what is said of the subject and that usually consists of a verb with or without objects, complements, or adverbial modifiers

predicate

verb
pred·​i·​cate | \ ˈpre-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce predicate (audio) \
predicated; predicating

Definition of predicate (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

b archaic : preach
2a : to assert to be a quality, attribute, or property used with following ofpredicates intelligence of humans
b : to make (a term) the predicate in a proposition
3 : found, base usually used with onthe theory is predicated on recent findings
4 : imply

predicate

adjective
pred·​i·​cate | \ ˈpre-di-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio) \

Definition of predicate (Entry 3 of 3)

: completing the meaning of a copula predicate adjective predicate noun

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from predicate

Noun

predicative \ ˈpre-​di-​kə-​tiv How to pronounce predicative (audio) , -​ˌkā-​ \ adjective
predicatively adverb

Synonyms for predicate

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Verb

The verb predicate means, among other things, "to found or base." Despite being attested as early as 1754, that sense has endured attack as a misuse on the grounds that it is not true to its Latin root praedicare, meaning "to proclaim, assert." This criticism, however, has subsided. Predicate can also mean "imply," but be careful about using it to mean "predict"-that use does appear in published sources sometimes, but it's an easy target for usage commentators, who are bound to consider it an all-too-predictable error. The meaning of predicate directly tapped from its Latin root-that is, "to assert"-most often occurs in metaphysic contemplation. A simplistic example of such use is the statement "if y is said to be x (e.g., an apple is a fruit), everything that is predicated of y is predicated of x."

Examples of predicate in a Sentence

Noun In the sentence “The child threw the ball,” the subject is “the child” and the predicate is “threw the ball.” Verb she has predicated her theory on recent findings by other astronomers Adjective In “the sun is hot,” “hot” is a predicate adjective.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Horowitz concluded that the investigation had a legal predicate, was not launched for partisan reasons and yet was marred by gross and possibly criminal errors in the ongoing surveillance of low-level Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. CBS News, "The House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Trump. Here's what happens next.," 14 Dec. 2019 Right or wrong, perhaps the Israeli government perceived Tlaib’s predicate for the visit as the ultimate fig leaf. Fox News, "Reporter's Notebook: Spat over scrapped 'Squad' members' Israel visit is tricky politics for both sides," 17 Aug. 2019 But gang violence is a different predicate for asylum. Fox News, "Ingraham: When the inmates run the immigration asylum," 26 July 2018 This represents a pretty aggressive vision to move the pool of predicates in the direction of new performance standards. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "FDA Is Revamping Clearance Procedures for Medical Devices," 26 Nov. 2018 Here's the problem, Judge, the Logan Act was the predicate for going after Lieutenant General Mike Flynn when Sally Yates was the Deputy Attorney General. Fox News, "Carter Page reacts to calls to declassify FISA documents," 15 Sep. 2018 Thus, there is no predicate of criminal behavior necessary to begin such a review. Murray Waas, Vox, "Exclusive: Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker was counseling the White House on investigating Clinton," 9 Nov. 2018 The Nunes memo that alleged a political and abusive predicate for the Russia probe wasn't exactly embraced by Republicans, but it's contributed to Trump's narrative. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trey Gowdy’s total rebuke of Trump’s ‘spying’ narrative — and the pattern it fits," 30 May 2018 The cheerleaders’ legal claims The factual assertions detailed above serve as predicates for the specific legal claims levied against the Texans. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "NFL Teams Previously Have Settled in Cheerleader Lawsuits. Will Texans' Ex-Cheerleaders Set Different Precedent?," 25 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In-game strategy is often obvious because it’s predicated on creating favorable matchups and reducing risk. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "In memory of the late Nick Cafardo, a ranking of baseball’s managers," 1 Feb. 2020 An ill-judged initial public offering in 2018, predicated on rapid growth, has the company careening. The Economist, "Driving nowhere fast Aston Martin is stuck in idle," 18 Jan. 2020 Smith logged a nearly unprecedented number of global hits between 1996 and 2008, largely predicated on his ingratiating persona popping into various genres (sci-fi, action, romantic comedy, drama). Jesse Hassenger, TheWeek, "The not-so-parallel careers of Robert Downey Jr. and Will Smith," 17 Jan. 2020 The arguments predicated on this view have become familiar, almost boilerplate. Gideon Lewis-kraus, Wired, "Bad Algorithms Didn't Break Democracy," 15 Jan. 2020 Christmas, as the president will remind you, is a holiday predicated on the Christian faith. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "The breathtaking scale of Santa Claus’s task on Christmas Eve," 20 Dec. 2019 Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hebrew University of Jerusalem published a paper that examined deep learning’s performance at predicating stocks. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "What the Struggles of Pizza and Coffee-Making Robots Mean for Investors," 14 Jan. 2020 All these missions are predicated on the big booster getting back on track. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX goes vertical, smallsat launch dates slip," 10 Jan. 2020 Pruitt’s arsenal is predicated on precise command and two spin-happy breaking balls. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Rays trade Austin Pruitt to his hometown Astros for 2 minor leaguers," 9 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective If past is predicate, those explanations will not prevent Mr. Trump from blaming the central bank for any economic problems as the country heads toward the 2020 election. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Fed Keeps Interest Rates Steady and Projects Little Movement Ahead," 11 Dec. 2019 All the Kavanaugh coverage has been intended to undermine his tenure and lay the predicate for structural reform of the U.S. judiciary. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Kavanaugh and the Crisis of Legitimacy," 21 Sep. 2019 Remington Arms had hoped the Supreme Court would review the decision, arguing that the exception only applies when the predicate statute explicitly mentions guns and gunmakers. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Supreme Court won’t let Remington Arms dodge Sandy Hook bullet," 12 Nov. 2019 On the substance of the state law claims, WME argues that the unfair competition claim fails because of the defects in the predicate fiduciary duty, constructive fraud and anti-kickback claims and, once again, because the allegations are too vague. Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Where the Writers Guild Stands in Its Legal War With Agencies," 30 Oct. 2019 So that predicate for the Mueller investigation is now very weak. Fox News, "How can the US assess North Korea's nuclear arsenal?," 17 June 2018 Again, not the identity of the informant, but the predicate documents, the FBI's 302's and the 1023's that will answer the question of whether or not there was an appropriate purpose behind this as opposed to an inappropriate political purpose. Fox News, "VP Mike Pence on Russia probe, alleged campaign surveillance," 22 May 2018 The next rooms contained stacks of documents and books, along with predicate-logic equations scrawled on the walls. Nimrod Nir, Newsweek, "Welcome to Pyramiden, a Mysterious Soviet Ghost Town, Where I Was Imprisoned by Nature—and My Poor Judgment," 14 Feb. 2018 Victims often dismiss other abusive tactics, such as a husband forbidding his wife from seeing her family or friends, that predicate any physical violence. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, "Rob Porter allegations detail common traits of domestic abuse, experts say," 9 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'predicate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of predicate

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for predicate

Noun

Middle English, from Late Latin praedicatum, from neuter of praedicatus

Verb

Late Latin praedicatus, past participle of praedicare to assert, predicate logically, preach, from Latin, to proclaim, assert — more at preach

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about predicate

Time Traveler for predicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of predicate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about predicate

Statistics for predicate

Cite this Entry

“Predicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predicate. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for predicate

predicate

noun
How to pronounce predicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of predicate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

grammar : the part of a sentence that expresses what is said about the subject

predicate

verb
How to pronounce predicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of predicate (Entry 2 of 3)

formal : to base (something) on or upon something else

predicate

adjective
How to pronounce predicate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of predicate (Entry 3 of 3)

grammar : used after a linking verb to describe a noun that comes before the verb

predicate

noun
pred·​i·​cate | \ ˈpre-di-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio) \

Kids Definition of predicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of a sentence or clause that tells what is said about the subject “Rang” in “the doorbell rang” is the predicate.

predicate

adjective

Kids Definition of predicate (Entry 2 of 2)

: completing the meaning of a linking verb “Sweet” in “the sugar is sweet” is a predicate adjective.

predicate

transitive verb
pred·​i·​cate | \ ˈpre-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce predicate (audio) \
predicated; predicating

Legal Definition of predicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to set or ground on something : find a basis for usually used with on Jurisdiction over the lawsuit was predicated on the California contactsDaimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. ___ (2014)

predicate

adjective
pred·​i·​cate | \ ˈpre-di-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio) \

Legal Definition of predicate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : occurring prior to and providing the basis or part of the basis for a conviction for another offense (as a RICO offense) predicate acts
2 : occurring prior to and providing the basis for sentence enhancement upon conviction for a later offense

Other Words from predicate

predicate noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on predicate

What made you want to look up predicate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!