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 Yet states are enacting even more supposed safeguards. Paula Span, New York Times, "Aid in Dying Soon Will be Available to More Americans. Few Will Choose It.," 8 July 2019 Part of a series of stories calling into question the supposed joys of summer Pool parties are summer’s great lie. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Pool parties are soul-crushing spectacles of half-naked strangers posing next to an artificial swamp," 5 Aug. 2019 Michael Owen has claimed that Liverpool wanted to sell Steven Gerrard two years before his eventual move to LA Galaxy, while also claiming that the supposed loyalty that fans expect of footballers is a result of 'blind' support., "Michael Owen Claims Liverpool Attempted to Sell Steven Gerrard Years Before His Departure in 2015," 5 Sep. 2019 What is one supposed to think when a candidate spends their time raising money from plutocrats who siphon their profits straight from the pump of oppressive inequality? Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Hypocrite Accuses Elizabeth Warren of Hypocrisy," 12 Sep. 2019 The supposed benefits of algae for skin are pretty much endless. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Can Spirulina and Other Algae Skin-Care Products Live Up to the Hype?," 13 Aug. 2019 According to the Associated Press, the panel of three judges questioned why Cosby's legal team never got a supposed 2005 non-prosecution agreement in writing or approved by a judge. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Bill Cosby's appeal of his sex-crime conviction goes before judges in crucial hearing," 12 Aug. 2019 FireEye, for example, was able to identify some apparently fake Iranian accounts last year because contact numbers for supposed American Twitter users had the +98 country code from Iran, a tactical mistake operatives are unlikely to make again. Anchorage Daily News, "It’s not just the Russians anymore as Iranians and others turn up disinformation efforts ahead of 2020 vote," 26 July 2019 There were questions — sometimes tangled and obscure — about shadowy figures in the investigation, about the supposed bias of Mr. Mueller’s team of investigators, and about charging decisions. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "What We Learned From Mueller’s 7 Hours on Capitol Hill," 24 July 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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Statistics for supposed

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for supposed

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

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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

What made you want to look up supposed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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