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 BlackRock’s is being accused of inconsistency over its supposed environmental and social goals. David Meyer, Fortune, "U.S. industry tackles Indian COVID crisis," 5 May 2021 Despite the outrage over Kaepernick’s affront to the supposed tradition of the national anthem, players had only been required to be on the field for its playing since 2009, when the Department of Defense paid the league millions of dollars. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Republicans Have Ruined Sports for Republicans," 19 Apr. 2021 The Matrix is not actually a metaphor for waking up to the supposed rationality of misogyny, but an allegory of gender dysphoria, as its creators have repeatedly said. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "The Alt-Right Has Lost Control of Redpill," 13 Apr. 2021 The game's subtitle is Kill the Justice League, a massest-of-mass-market pitch that defangs the supposed transgression of something like Invincible. Darren Franich,, "Whatever Happened to the Men of Tomorrow?," 12 Apr. 2021 The supposed wisdom of the crowd has replaced research and expertise, leaving us adhering to the beliefs that best confirm our biases, writes Kakutani's publisher. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "Abandoned truth," 11 Apr. 2021 Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Oleksii Reznikov, WSJ, "Reject Nord Stream 2 Once and for All," 8 Apr. 2021 Horwitz also met with investors face-to-face, convincing one individual to back the supposed acquisition of rights to 108 movies through corresponding notes. Nathan Vardi, Forbes, "Hollywood Actor Bilked 200 Investors In $690 Million Ponzi Scheme, Feds Claim," 7 Apr. 2021 Silk also regulates temperature well and doesn’t absorb much moisture, Gopinath says; these properties are the main reasons for its supposed beauty benefits. Washington Post, "Silk pillowcases may provide some hair and skin benefits, but they’re not miracle workers," 6 Apr. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Supposed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for supposed



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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