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

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 predicative (audio) , -​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

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The religion is predicated on the idea that the eternal wisdom of the ages and of divinity cannot be confined to a single sacred book. Shashi Tharoor, WSJ, "How Hinduism Has Persisted for 4,000 Years," 17 Jan. 2019 The civil suit delays were predicated on concerns that any further litigation over the validity of a settlement agreement associated with the $130,000 payment could compromise Cohen’s constitutional rights in the criminal case. Lee Ross, Fox News, "Stormy Daniels' legal fight with Trump returns to LA courtroom," 24 Sep. 2018 By Neil Nakahodo and Pete Gratoff Everything Bob Sutton does is predicated on pressuring the quarterback. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Herrera's gone, what's next for Royals and worrisome about Chiefs," 19 June 2018 Much of that spending is predicated on the Medicaid portion, so pressure will be on for the next several weeks to reach some kind of agreement with the Senate. Washington Post, "Virginia’s House Republicans finally put their weight behind Medicaid expansion," 18 Feb. 2018 Besides being controversial in political arenas, the biofuel industry has also inspired some creative scams, which have predicated several multi-million-dollar judgements against the scammers. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "EPA reconsidering biofuel targets after production goals are missed," 25 Nov. 2018 Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus was the wildly popular self-help book from the 1990s that predicated marital success on understanding the fundamental differences between the sexes. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "I Tested ‘Love Languages’ and 3 Other Relationship Books on My Marriage," 7 Oct. 2018 Matthew Gertz pointed out that the entire tweetstorm seemed to be predicated on a segment on Fox News’ Lou Dobbs Tonight, which itself was based on a nonsensical chart promoted by the hyperpartisan right-wing news outlet PJ Media. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram’s verification system is useful, fair, and Twitter should copy it," 29 Aug. 2018 As investors unwind positions that were predicated on at least the possibility of rates staying unchanged, stocks could be in for a bit of upset. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Warning Sign: Some Investors are Fighting the Fed," 11 Dec. 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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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)

formal : 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 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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