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
After falling nearly 40% in two weeks, the digital age’s putative store of value rebounded to over $4,000 at one point Monday, before falling back to just under $3,900 overnight.
The disclosures in 2016 led to a putative class action lawsuit, which was filed by a Facebook investor in January.
Nevertheless, as seen in Cornell’s BSU attempt to limit non-African-American blacks, the BSU blundered into the reality of their putative special status. Gene Dattel Lakeville, Conn.
Rayburn, a satirist, had written a previous book about the putative (and non-existent) inventor of the brassiere, Otto Titzling, leading many to believe that Crapper had never existed.
That gamble has already cost the company more than $70 million, in the form of a $30 million deal with the NMPA and a a $43 million settlement in a putative class-action lawsuit.
If lawmakers decide to impose new putative economic sanctions on Iran, the deal will likely fall apart.
When the plaintiffs played at a public school, the school was not named as a defendant because of the potential difficulties related to suing state institutions — but putative classes were based players at the specific school.
Soon his putative enemy, idealistic revolutionary Bashir, is drunk on short sells.
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
Synonymsassumed, evident, ostensible, ostensive, presumed, prima facie, apparent, reputed, seeming, supposed
Related Wordsdemonstrable, external, outward, superficial, visible; conceivable, plausible, possible, supposable; likely, probable; clear, distinct, manifest, obvious, plain; deceptive, delusive, delusory, illusive, illusory, imaginary; misleading, specious; fake, faked, feigned, phony (also phoney), pretended, pseudo, put-on; alleged, claimed, professed, purported, so-called
Near Antonymshidden, inapparent; implausible, impossible, improbable, inconceivable, unlikely; actual, authenticated, confirmed, corroborated, established, genuine, real, substantiated, sure, valid, validated, verified
PUTATIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Seen and Heard
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