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
The suit is a putative class action on behalf of Yahoo users.
The federal court in the Southern District of New York will look at the words used, and the conduct of the attorney and the putative client.
But that is only the beginning of the movie’s problems with its putative theme.
Developments involving his personal attorney Michael Cohen repeatedly intruded into deliberations over putative strikes on Syria last week.
Rather than join with other aggrieved countries to put legal pressure on China, Mr Trump has threatened putative allies.
The great hope in saving it as a candidate is the Hubble Space Telescope, which could be used to watch for the putative planet’s next transit, expected later this month.
Nothing about his situation — including his wife and her putative lover — feels real.
Yet beneath its putative message of male responsibility lies a more insidious phenomenon: The commodification of protest, particularly in the era of Trump.
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.
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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