sup·​posed | \ sə-ˈpōzd How to pronounce supposed (audio) ; senses 1b and 2a usually sə-ˈpō-zəd How to pronounce supposed (audio) , senses 3 and 4 often sə-ˈpōst How to pronounce supposed (audio) \

Definition of supposed

1a : pretended twelve hours are supposed to elapse between Acts I and II— W. S. Gilbert
b : alleged trusted my supposed friends
2a : held as an opinion : believed also : mistakenly believed : imagined the sight which makes supposed terror true — William Shakespeare
b : considered probable or certain : expected it was not supposed that everybody could master the technical aspects— J. C. Murray
c : understood you will be supposed to refer to my grandaunt— G. B. Shaw
3 : made or fashioned by intent or design what's that button supposed to do
4a : required by or as if by authority soldiers are supposed to obey their commanding officers
b : given permission : permitted was not supposed to have visitors

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Examples of supposed in a Sentence

this new computer program is a supposed improvement over the old one
Recent Examples on the Web Prewett wrote on Instagram, announcing the supposed split on March 13. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "The Bachelor’s Peter Weber and Madison Prewett Were Reportedly ‘Never Really Back Together’," 18 Mar. 2020 Expert gaffes While people might discount what politicians say, missteps by supposed experts ratchet up anxiety even further. Sharon Begley, STAT, "7 reasons why it’s hard to control your coronavirus anxiety," 12 Mar. 2020 In some cases, there are even reports of supposed IRS agents calling taxpayers to 'inform' them that their identity has been stolen. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Michiganders lost $1.89M to scam: How to spot it," 3 Dec. 2019 But in elevating Sade, the Surrealists had no choice but to read him selectively, to elide the terror that this supposed ethic of personal liberation imposes on others. Mitchell Abidor, The New York Review of Books, "Reading Sade in the Age of Epstein," 12 Feb. 2020 Eden quips before the Matheson teens are tasked with carrying a supposed demon’s body to a mystical entryway. Ariana Romero,, "What Is Going On With Eden After The Locke & Key Finale?," 7 Feb. 2020 There was no real mention of the alcoholic, her name, her feelings, her circumstances or even her supposed crimes or attempts at healing, just judgment, blame, self-pity and latent sexism. oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Readers recommend Al-Anon for husband struggling with wife’s drinking problem," 28 Jan. 2020 Kazzelbach’s story unravels The evidence Kazzelbach presented to police of JK’s supposed harassment campaign seemed strong. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Your worst office romance was never this bad," 15 Jan. 2020 One key figure in this supposed conspiracy: CrowdStrike, a security firm hired by the DNC that detected and analyzed the hack five months before the 2016 election. Washington Post, "Debunked Ukraine conspiracy theory is knocked down - again," 13 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supposed.' 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 supposed

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Time Traveler for supposed

Time Traveler

The first known use of supposed was in the 15th century

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Statistics for supposed

Last Updated

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supposed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for supposed


How to pronounce supposed (audio) How to pronounce supposed (audio) How to pronounce supposed (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of supposed

: claimed to be true or real


sup·​posed | \ sə-ˈpōzd How to pronounce supposed (audio) \

Kids Definition of supposed

1 : forced, expected, or required I am supposed to be home early.
2 : believed or claimed to be true or real the supposed murderer
3 : given permission I'm not supposed to stay out after dark.

Other Words from supposed

supposedly \ -​ˈpō-​zəd-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on supposed

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