predicate

noun
pred·​i·​cate | \ˈpre-di-kət \

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 \
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 \

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 , -​ˌkā-​ \ adjective
predicatively adverb

Synonyms for predicate

Synonyms: Verb

base, ground, hang, rest

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Xie’s swallowed commands, shorn of their predicates, suggest that the rules of her art cannot be codified. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Jenny Xie Writes a Sightseer’s Guide to the Self," 30 Apr. 2018 Despite this, some Republicans have suggested that the Steele dossier was a predicate for the investigation — a suggestion aimed at undermining the broader Russia probe that is currently imperiling the White House. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The White House's broken promise on the Democratic memo," 10 Feb. 2018 This was the predicate for his recusal from the Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "A complete timeline of the events behind the memo that threatens to rip D.C. in two," 2 Feb. 2018 More than 200 federal crimes can be legal predicates for money laundering Byrne added in a Monday interview. USA TODAY, "Follow the money: Here's how money laundering works," 30 Oct. 2017 What Happened, whose title of course requires no further predicate, occasionally engages in blame, what-happened-wise: of Clinton herself, of Donald Trump, of Bernie Sanders, of James Comey, of Vladimir Putin, of the American media, of many more. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "'What More Do You Need?'," 13 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The boom scenario is predicated on the low pressure system developing to our south, and that does not look likely — probably only a 10 or 15 percent chance. Wes Junker, Washington Post, "Snow begins Tuesday evening in the D.C. region — a dusting to 2 inches possible," 15 Jan. 2018 Back then, San Antonio countered the emergence of LeBron and the Heat's superteam with great defense and an offense predicated on motion and moving the ball all over the floor. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The Unnerving Excellence of Steph Curry and the Warriors," 4 June 2018 But Trump's campaign promises were never predicated on a careful deliberation of solid facts and hard truths. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "What Trump Really Means When He Talks About Migrant Children, MS-13, and "Animals"," 30 May 2018 And the firing of Comey was predicated ostensibly on a review by Rosenstein of his handing of the Clinton email investigation, but that is generally understood to have been something of a fig leaf. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Trump defenders’ efforts to cast Mueller as tainted are gaining urgency," 17 Mar. 2018 But that deal is predicated on Democrats holding the open seat in Westchester, as well as one in the Bronx vacated by Ruben Diaz Sr., who is now a New York City councilman. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "Open Seat in Westchester May Hold Key to Democratic Unity," 30 Jan. 2018 The perception of drug addiction is still predicated on weakness, sin, and shame—all of which deserve punishment or justify exploitation. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 Because desire is often predicated on distance, transgression and mystery. Cheryl Strayed, New York Times, "I’m 70, and I Want to Still Want Sex," 22 May 2018 This league is all predicated on trying to find mismatches. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "LeBron James on passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most postseason field goals: I'm not a scorer," 22 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 A predicate crime wasn’t required in order to ruin Scooter Libby’s career or send septuagenarian Joe Bonanno to prison. Carl M. Cannon, Orange County Register, "Trump-Russia: Cover-up worse than the crime?," 18 June 2017 Indiana’s 21st Century Scholar and Frank O’Brian Grant, both approved by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013, also predicate funding on earning 30 credits. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "The High Price of Not Completing College in Four Years," 8 June 2017 Currently, the FDA’s rules have a predicate date giving it authority over all vaping products introduced since Feb. 15, 2007, or virtually all vaping products on the market. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'Vaping Congressman' introduces bill to ease FDA's e-cigarette restrictions," 29 Apr. 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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Statistics for predicate

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predicate

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

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More Definitions for predicate

predicate

noun

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

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

: to base (something) on or upon something else

predicate

adjective

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 \

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 \
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 \

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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