supposed

adjective sup·posed \ sə-ˈpōzd ; senses 1b and 2a usually -ˈpō-zəd , senses 3 and 4 often -ˈpōst \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of supposed

1 a : pretended
  • twelve hours are supposed to elapse between Acts I and II
  • —W. S. Gilbert
b : alleged
  • trusted my supposed friends
2 a : 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
4 a : 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

supposedly

play \-ˈpō-zəd-lē also -ˈpōzd-lē\ adverb

Examples of supposed in a Sentence

  1. this new computer program is a supposed improvement over the old one

Recent Examples of supposed from the Web

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



SUPPOSED Defined for English Language Learners

supposed

adjective

Definition of supposed for English Language Learners

  • : claimed to be true or real


SUPPOSED Defined for Kids

supposed

adjective sup·posed \ sə-ˈpōzd \

Definition of supposed for Students

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.

supposedly

\-ˈpō-zəd-lē\ adverb


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