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

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Other Words from predicate

Noun

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

Synonyms for predicate

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 But in drawing these lines, analysts said, Mr. Giuliani may be signaling to Mr. Mueller the outer boundaries of the president’s tolerance or even laying a predicate for later firing the special counsel. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Trump Team’s Mueller Strategy: Limit the Investigation and Attack the Investigators," 21 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Panthers' strategy was predicated on getting a lead. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "River Rouge QB Mareyohn Hrabowski outplays Muskegon star for Division 3 state title," 1 Dec. 2019 That is predicated on doing more on game night than just showing up on time. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Who were those imposters wearing Arizona Coyotes uniforms against the Toronto Maple Leafs?," 22 Nov. 2019 Their livelihoods and even survival had been predicated on strong families. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Forget the future, GOP. It’s Miller time!," 22 Nov. 2019 Mr Macron’s willingness to move fast and break things is predicated on the fear that NATO might collapse sooner rather than later. The Economist, "Charlemagne Europe needs to defend itself better, but cannot do without America," 21 Nov. 2019 Their system is predicated on anyone and everyone shooting confidently when given a quality look. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Bucks brace for Middleton's absence but hope the machine will keep humming along," 13 Nov. 2019 Similar to Friday night’s game against the Sixers, Denver’s offense was predicated on production from Jokic and Murray. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nikola Jokic hits another game-winner, Nuggets avoid complete disaster," 10 Nov. 2019 Greinke’s entire game is now predicated upon pinpoint placement of the baseball. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros win Game 4, push Yankees to brink of elimination," 18 Oct. 2019 The movie is predicated on disgust and aggression to make its point dramatically. Patrick Z. Mcgavin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Fight Club': THR's 1999 Review," 15 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 The predicate belief of the Trump administration is that fomenting disruption and chaos be done on the grandest scale. Dahlia Lithwick, Slate Magazine, "Was Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio Unconstitutional?," 15 Sep. 2017

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for predicate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for predicate

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Predicate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predicated. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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

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