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and resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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
City officials reached the tentative agreement after three wheelchair or scooter users complained the city wasn't complying with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Since a change of government in 2015, Sri Lanka has been making tentative progress with reconciliation.
State reaches contract agreements with unions Governor Chris Sununu said Wednesday that tentative contract agreements have been reached with the four state employee unions.
The two chambers have already reached a tentative agreement to spend $2.7 billion of the fund's earnings for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1, on a one-time basis.
However, Morning Call later reached a tentative agreement to stay in the Metairie location near Lakeside Shopping Center.
The national investing and banking firm Charles Schwab has reached a tentative agreement with the PGA Tour to become the title sponsor of the Fort Worth golf tournament held at Colonial.
Last year, the corporate parent of Terminix reached a tentative agreement to pay $87 million to the Esmond family.
The deal comes nearly a year after Ambrose reached a tentative agreement to buy the long-vacant, 103-acre property.
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;
TENTATIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tentative for English Language Learners
: not done with confidence : uncertain and hesitant
: not definite : still able to be changed
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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