Word of the Day : May 3, 2015

predicate

play
verb PRED-uh-kayt

Definition

1 : affirm, declare

2 a : to assert to be a quality, attribute, or property - used with of

b : to make (a term) the predicate in a proposition

3 : found, base - usually used with on

4 : imply

Did You Know?

The verb predicate means, among other things, "to found or base." Despite being attested as early as 1754, that sense has endured attack as a misuse on the grounds that it is not true to its Latin root praedicare, meaning "to proclaim, assert." This criticism, however, has subsided. Predicate can also mean "imply," but be careful about using it to mean "predict"-that use does appear in published sources sometimes, but it's an easy target for usage commentators, who are bound to consider it an all-too-predictable error. The meaning of predicate directly tapped from its Latin root-that is, "to assert"-most often occurs in metaphysic contemplation. A simplistic example of such use is the statement "if y is said to be x (e.g., an apple is a fruit), everything that is predicated of y is predicated of x."


Examples

"We don't elect them to agree with us, but rather to explain to us the best options available. All of this is predicated on the sacred trust that elected officials will share all options they've explored, identify the ones they haven't, and share the rationale behind their decisions." - Robert F. Walsh, Stratford (Connecticut) Star, January 29, 2015

"His speech ushered in a new era of social media. Agencies sprung up promising client services predicated on [Mark] Zuckerberg's vision of a more social, interactive approach to marketing communication." - Mark Ritson, Marketing Week, January 15, 2015



Test Your Memory

Fill in the blank in this sentence from our April 22nd Word of the Day: "We were naturally curious when the moving van appeared in the Michaelsons' driveway, but the neighborhood ________, Mrs. Dyer, had already heard that Mr. Michaelson was being transferred to a new job out of town." The answer is …


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