putative was our Word of the Day on 05/05/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of putative in a Sentence
- This has always been a nation willing to sell out its past for putative progress. —Anna Quindlen, Newsweek, 3 June 2002
- The putative champions of liberty took up the cry of dissent only after it had become profitable and safe … —Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, June 2000
- Back in Hollywood in a few weeks, I was discouraged to find yet another putative director wandering about in the Cowan offices, also unpaid. —Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987
the putative reason for her dismissal was poor job performance
Recent Examples of putative from the Web
And then there’s always the possibility of a nominee or putative nominee self-destructing.
After weeks or months of intimate emails, texts, and phone calls, the putative boyfriend will urgently need money to replace a broken laptop or buy a plane ticket home.
Worse still, one of his putative ministers turned the job down.
What, if any, situation would give him a shot at taking down a putative dynasty?
The play shows us Adam (Theo Germaine) as a small putative girl, meeting with Barnes (David Parkes), whose determination to prove his thesis doesn't preclude a fatherly devotion to her.
Nelson finds himself in a uneasy relationship with Northern Alliance Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum (Navid Negahban), his putative ally and Afghan collaborator.
Reading celebrities’ acknowledgments is another experience entirely, almost a kind of sport — perhaps the highlight of which is finding the euphemistic phrase the putative author uses to thank the actual author.
Most notably, there was a putative class-action case against Spotify, in which the court has been asked to approve a settlement.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'putative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
putative: Always Before a Noun
Putative is almost always used in front of a noun, the modified noun being that which is assumed or supposed to be. The putative cause of a death, for example, is the one widely believed to have caused it, even when it hasn't been proven or made certain. However, one does not say "the cause was putative."
Did You Know?
There's no need to make assumptions about the root behind putative; scholars are quite certain the word comes from Latin putatus, the past participle of the verb putare, which means "to consider" or "to think." Putative has been part of English since the 15th century, and it often shows up in legal contexts. For instance, a "putative marriage" is one that is believed to be legal by at least one of the parties involved. When that trusting person finds out that his or her marriage is not sanctioned by law, other putare derivatives, such as dispute, disreputable, reputed, imputation, and deputy, may come into play.
Origin and Etymology of putative
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
PUTATIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of putative for English Language Learners
: generally believed to be something
legal Definition of putative
- the child's putative father
- ignorantly entered into a putative marriage before the divorce from a previous spouse was final
Seen and Heard
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