Examples of tentative in a Sentence
- In the winter, retirees from the Midwest fill the trailer parks. They are known with tentative affection as snowbirds. —William Langewiesche, Atlantic, June 1992
- Clearly the President was chastened by the sorrow and resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice. —Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, July 1992
- There was a crying need, in the tentative early days of populist toryism, for a voice that could bring the gospel to the lumpen. —Christopher Hitchens, Times Literary Supplement, 30 Nov. 1990
- Thus, we have a tentative picture of anatomically modern people arising in Africa over 100,000 years ago, but initially making the same tools as Neanderthals and having no advantage over them. By perhaps 60,000 years ago, some magic twist of behavior had been added to the modern anatomy. —Jared M. Diamond, Discover, May 1989
the baby's first tentative steps
We have tentative plans for the weekend.
Recent Examples of tentative from the Web
Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate, or rollback rate, would be no more than 3.614 mills.
Macintosh says there have been tentative detections of very young planets before, but this one stands out.
Click here for a tentative beer list, and here for subject-to-change summer cocktails.
Despite the play’s tentative plotting and murky psychology, Carlin’s volatile emotions ring painfully true.
McConnell, for now, has shrugged off the Democratic demands and penciled in a tentative vote for the fall.
After Uline, the next overhaul will be one of the festival's biggest projects in its history: a rebuilt American Family Insurance Amphitheater, with a tentative opening in 2020.
The program has the tentative title of Sean Spicer’s Common Ground and would feature conversations between the former White House official and prominent personalities.
The Township last Thursday received updates on the process including some tentative time frames for special meetings on specific topics.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tentative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
A "tentative" Explanation
Tentative is from the Latin tentare (“to attempt”), and its original meaning was “attempted, provisional, experimental.” It is easy to see how this emphasis on trial and error led to the word’s current sense “not fully worked out or developed” (as in "a tentative date," "tentative plans," "a tentative job offer"). The “hesitant, uncertain” sense that is also common nowadays (as in “a tentative knock on the door”) extends the idea of an unripe attempt to the uncertain emotional state of the person making the attempt.
absolute, all-out, arrant, categorical (also categoric), complete, consummate, out-and-out, outright, perfect, simple, total, ultimate, unadulterated, unalloyed, unconditional, unequivocal, unmitigated, unqualified, utter;
Definition of tentative
- In war, certainties have a way of becoming tentatives.
- —The Buffalo (New York) News
- Seventy-nine shows have contracts to use the center between now and 2010, with 129 booked with either contracts pending or as tentatives.
- —Keith Reed
TENTATIVE Defined for Kids
Definition of tentative for Students
- tentative plans
- Harriet walked toward her tentatively, as one would toward a mad dog …
- —Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy
Seen and Heard
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