ten·​ta·​tive·​ly | \ ˈten-tə-tiv-lē How to pronounce tentatively (audio) \

Definition of tentatively

: with hesitancy or uncertainty : in a tentative manner He tentatively agreed to the deal. Sliding along beside me was a five-foot-long mako shark…. Tentatively, I touched its dorsal fin.— Rick Riordan Once upon a time, tech titans would tentatively suggest, "Our technology can improve your life" …— Kentaro Toyama The network has announced a new series, tentatively titled The Fashion Show— Lyndon Stambler

First Known Use of tentatively

1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tentatively

tentative entry 1 + -ly entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tentatively

Time Traveler for tentatively

Time Traveler

The first known use of tentatively was in 1819

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tentatively

Cite this Entry

“Tentatively.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tentatively. Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tentatively

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tentatively

Spanish Central: Translation of tentatively

Nglish: Translation of tentatively for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tentatively

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!