predicate

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

Essential Meaning of predicate

grammar : the part of a sentence that expresses what is said about the subject In the sentence "The child threw the ball," the subject is "the child" and the predicate is "threw the ball."

Full 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

1a : affirm, declare
b archaic : preach
2a : to assert to be a quality, attribute, or property used with following of predicates intelligence of humans
b : to make (a term) the predicate in a proposition
3 : found, base usually used with on the 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 predicate (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 For medical algorithms, the definition of equivalency under 510(k) should be narrowed to consider whether the data sets or machine learning tactics used by the new device and its predicate are similar. Scientific American, 7 Oct. 2021 Geddes also broke down each of the 14 racketeering predicate acts that were alleged in the indictment as well as the elements prosecutors had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. Tribune Media Services, al, 26 Sep. 2021 Human capital is the single most important predicate to emergence from the middle-income ghetto in which countries like Mexico wallow. Anne Stevenson-yang, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 President Bill Clinton in his first year endured the bloody tragedy of the battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, while President George W. Bush had the false predicate of weapons of mass destruction for starting a war with Iraq. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Aug. 2021 The number of the verb depends on the subject, not the predicate (what comes after the verb). Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Aug. 2021 Then-President Donald Trump’s foolhardy ceasefire deal with the Taliban in February 2020 set the predicate for Biden’s withdrawal. Rich Lowry, National Review, 9 July 2021 Under the circumstances, that seems to be more than enough of a predicate for the Justice Department to begin an investigation into Trump, communications within the White House, and the like. Ankush Khardori, The New Republic, 5 May 2021 The predicate is alarm about a shortage of semiconductors, but the point would also be to invest in areas such as quantum computing, biomedical medical research, and data storage. William A. Galston, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For 10 minutes, Beckham ran deep outs, curls and some double-move stops that all predicate around timing. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, 7 Aug. 2021 Hayes Center does not predicate its ban on Roe v. Wade being overturned, for instance, putting the ordinance seemingly at direct odds with federal law. Alison Durkee, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Ingeniously, Calhoun even managed to predicate his arguments for slavery in part upon the free trade principles of Adam Smith and the classical economists of the early 19th century. Charlotte Allen, Washington Examiner, 18 Feb. 2021 That a business predicated on at-home entertainment viewing benefited from consumers staying at home wasn’t the surprise. Adam Epstein, Quartz, 31 May 2020 Her plan appears to be predicated on the assumption that his sister has the fallback — in the event of Saul's death, Dorit hands over his most sensitive intelligence. Seija Rankin, EW.com, 27 Apr. 2020 Their bluster belies the fact that the U.S. strategy in the Cold War was largely predicated on avoiding direct conflict. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 6 Jan. 2020 Saul argues against going to war based on wrong information, explicitly laying out the show's intriguing parallel to the 2003 Iraq War, which was predicated on weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2020 The state budget is predicated on a slight increase in revenue. James Salzer, ajc, 6 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To make matters more complicated, a device approved via 510(k) could remain on the market even if its predicate device was later recalled for quality and safety issues. Scientific American, 7 Oct. 2021 The conduct this Court has deemed particularly cruel also occurred over a longer period and was substantially more painful than a typical third-degree assault, the predicate felony offense for Mr. Chauvin’s second-degree murder conviction. NBC News, 25 June 2021 But, unlike that of most other states, Minnesota law allows prosecutors to charge felony murder using assault as the predicate crime. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, 17 June 2020 Traditionally, the predicate felonies for felony murder included rape, arson, mayhem, robbery, burglary, larceny, prison breach and rescue of a felon. NBC News, 3 June 2020 The predicate felony in Chauvin's case is third-degree assault. NBC News, 3 June 2020 Right now, however, the larger goal simply has to be about establishing the predicate right to receive royalties. Eriq Gardner, Billboard, 4 Apr. 2019 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, 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, 21 Sep. 2019

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near predicate

predicant

predicate

predicate calculus

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Statistics for predicate

Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Predicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predicate. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for predicate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on predicate

Nglish: Translation of predicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of predicate for Arabic Speakers

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