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and resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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
He was being held Sunday on two tentative counts of second-degree murder.
Women on money in Canada, Britain Beyond U.S.’s tentative $20 revamp, the idea for women on the U.S. quarter comes amid a flurry of efforts worldwide to put more female figures on currency.
The applicant, Dandena Larchmont LLC, is seeking a tentative tract map to build the homes on a portion of two parcels totaling 80 acres at the easterly terminus of Larchmont Street, just east of Pomerado Road and north of Twin Peaks Road.
Under the tentative deal, Biogen would pay Pfizer $75 million up front and as much as $515 million in royalties if the drug meets certain clinical and marketing goals.
Costello already has a tentative deal for sales of the LED panels on the arena's scoreboard.
Even in their collective action, the Ailey dancers are not alone: The dancers and stage managers of ABT voted in January to authorize a strike, reaching a tentative agreement just before the company’s opening night in Washington.
County Executive Warren Evans announced a tentative agreement with Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures to build the center, with construction set to begin in October and be completed by spring/summer 2022.
However tentative, this statement buttresses the efforts by SpaceX to say that, from its perspective, the mission was a success.
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.
Origin and Etymology of tentative
First Known Use: 1825See Words from the same year
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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