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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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 Justice Department determined that there had been no underlying basis to investigate Flynn (i.e., there was insufficient predicate to investigate him as a criminal suspect or as a clandestine agent of Russia). Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "D.C. Circuit Rules against Michael Flynn, Sending Case Back to Judge Sullivan," 1 Sep. 2020 Each of these arguments ignores its own racist predicate — the presumption that Black people are too dumb to understand which party favors their best interests. Kyle Whitmire, al, "NASCAR and the GOP have the same problem. Only one is trying to do something about it.," 24 June 2020 There was no criminal predicate for the probe: Flynn’s communications with Sergey Kislyak — then the Russian ambassador to the U.S. — during the transition, which set off the whole affair, were entirely proper. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Flynn Case Is a Travesty," 2 May 2020 The factual predicate for this Russia investigation. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Trey Gowdy: John Durham looking at 'three important things'," 16 Feb. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That a business predicated on at-home entertainment viewing benefited from consumers staying at home wasn’t the surprise. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Coronavirus is propelling Netflix to new heights—but is a crash inevitable?," 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, "Homeland series finale recap: Goodbye to you, America," 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, "The Future of America’s Contest with China," 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, "'Homeland' recap: Did Carrie kill Saul? More big revelations from Showtime's series finale," 27 Apr. 2020 The state budget is predicated on a slight increase in revenue. James Salzer, ajc, "Georgia tax revenue drops $1 billion in April as pandemic takes its toll," 6 May 2020 In addition to being morally repugnant, these ideas are also predicated on flawed scientific assumptions. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, "The Dark Search for a “Silver Lining” to the Coronavirus," 4 May 2020 But the plan is largely predicated on benchmarks including the availability of widespread testing, which governors say is not yet available. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Trump’s social distancing guidelines quietly expire as the administration shifts focus to reopening," 30 Apr. 2020 Unlike other establishments that are now attempting to survive by going all-in on delivery, Coogan’s whole business model was predicated on selling booze. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "America's Best Runners' Bar Is Closing," 22 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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, "How the Charges Against Derek Chauvin Fit Into a Vision of Criminal-Justice Reform," 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, "Charges against Derek Chauvin suggest George Floyd's death was unintended," 3 June 2020 The predicate felony in Chauvin's case is third-degree assault. NBC News, "Charges against Derek Chauvin suggest George Floyd's death was unintended," 3 June 2020 Right now, however, the larger goal simply has to be about establishing the predicate right to receive royalties. Eriq Gardner, Billboard, "For Some Rock Pioneers, Warner Music Treats Streaming Royalties as Charity," 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, "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

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

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Predicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predicate. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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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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