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

Examples of supposed in a Sentence

this new computer program is a supposed improvement over the old one
Recent Examples on the Web In the supposed three-team race for the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, the math isn’t adding up for the eventual losers. Nick Alvarez |, al, 26 Apr. 2022 Reviews were mostly complimentary, but Jet played up the supposed hypocrisy that a novelist who espoused racial pride married a white man—a sidelong critique of Walker’s political fitness that followed her throughout her career. The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 Since our work patterns are often to blame for poor sleep quality and quantity, a constant emphasis on productivity and performance doesn't exactly seem to make for a good solution to our supposed sleep crisis. Diletta De Cristofaro, The Week, 29 Mar. 2022 Since Putin has given lengthy speeches about the supposed historical unity of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, that can make picking up some Ukrainian a more easily achievable symbolic act. Matt Pearcestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Russian journalists argued that the supposed plot was full of holes. Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2022 The complaint also alleged that in 2019 Ross offered to pay Flores $100,000 per contest to lose games in a supposed effort to secure a high pick in the NFL draft. David Lyons,, 5 Feb. 2022 The disclosure could prove to be a headwind for Pulliam, 40, whose campaign has contrasted the small-town virtues of rural Clackamas County with the supposed squalor of Portland. oregonlive, 5 Feb. 2022 The supposed burial site was off a road leading out of Fredericksburg in a grassy, vacant lot filled with trees, dense bushes and thistle, Allen said. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of supposed

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

Learn More About supposed

Time Traveler for supposed

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near supposed




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for supposed

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Supposed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for supposed


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

More from Merriam-Webster on supposed

Nglish: Translation of supposed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of supposed for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!