predicate

1 of 3

noun

pred·​i·​cate ˈpre-di-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio)
1
a
: 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
predicative adjective
predicatively adverb

predicate

2 of 3

verb

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

transitive verb

1
b
archaic : preach
2
a
: 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

3 of 3

adjective

pred·​i·​cate ˈpre-di-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio)
: completing the meaning of a copula
predicate adjective
predicate noun

Did you know?

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."

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
For me, that’s the predicate for that type of evidence. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 20 Jan. 2023 What happened was they were exposed to a false environment, an environment that reorganized the categories of reality, which seemed to deny the dominion of time, and whose predicate was ultimately revealed to be inimical to the human spirit. David Milch, Vulture, 7 Sep. 2022 The predicate of the abuse was members of Congress. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 27 June 2022 In an instance of misdirection for the ages, a spate of commentary has pointed the finger at Donald Trump for supposedly creating the predicate for Putin’s brutalizing of Ukraine. Rich Lowry, National Review, 15 Mar. 2022 This is simply impossible, so Russia could conclude that Paris and Berlin have already implicitly accepted the predicate for Russia’s annexation of the Donbas. Mario Loyola, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 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
Verb
The Huskies thrive in transition, where Marquette also does, and have burst ahead of opponents with lengthy scoring runs on a consistent basis – which all predicate on the momentum-swinging shut-down defense UConn is capable of playing. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 10 Jan. 2023 Both schools are scheduled to join the SEC by 2025, but could a new deal predicate a sooner move? Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel, 6 Sep. 2022 In chapters 1 and 2, the reader is introduced to the basics of infectious diseases, particularly the ‘goals’ that predicate disease evolution. Grrlscientist, Forbes, 31 July 2022 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
Adjective
Each node contains a description of a subject, predicate, object and other schema types. Ehsan Jahandarpour, Forbes, 2 Jan. 2023 Moreover, government officials have known–for decades–that FinCEN’s enforcement actions typically come after a predicate crime has already been discovered. Norbert Michel, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 To be found guilty, the state has to prove that the defendant committed two or more predicate crimes, such as murder or theft. Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 Yet clearing present-day medical devices based on evidence generated many years earlier — a phenomenon known as predicate creep — can lead to risks slipping through the cracks. Kushal Kadakia, STAT, 5 Dec. 2021 The allegations tied to the RICO claim are that Rodriguez and Zook committed several predicate acts, including mortgage and insurance fraud. Christian Red, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 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 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near predicate

Cite this Entry

“Predicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predicate. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

predicate

1 of 3 noun
pred·​i·​cate ˈpred-i-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio)
: the part of a sentence or clause that expresses what is said about the subject
"threw the ball" in "the child threw the ball" is the predicate
predicative
ˈpred-i-kət-iv How to pronounce predicate (audio)
ˈpred-ə-ˌkāt-
adjective

predicate

2 of 3 verb
pred·​i·​cate ˈpred-ə-ˌkāt How to pronounce predicate (audio)
predicated; predicating
: base entry 2 sense 2
your theory is predicated on the belief that ghosts exist
predication
ˌpred-ə-ˈkā-shən
noun

predicate

3 of 3 adjective
pred·​i·​cate ˈpred-i-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio)
: belonging to the predicate
especially : completing the meaning of a linking verb
hot in "the sun is hot" is a predicate adjective
compare attributive

Legal Definition

predicate

1 of 2 transitive verb
pred·​i·​cate ˈpre-də-ˌkāt How to pronounce predicate (audio)
predicated; predicating
: 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

2 of 2 adjective
pred·​i·​cate ˈpre-di-kət How to pronounce predicate (audio)
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
predicate noun

More from Merriam-Webster on predicate

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