sup·​posed sə-ˈpōzd How to pronounce supposed (audio)
senses 1b and 2a usually
sə-ˈpō-zəd How to pronounce supposed (audio)
senses 3 and 4 often
sə-ˈpōst How to pronounce supposed (audio)
: pretended
twelve hours are supposed to elapse between Acts I and IIW. S. Gilbert
: alleged
trusted my supposed friends
: held as an opinion : believed
also : mistakenly believed : imagined
the sight which makes supposed terror true William Shakespeare
: considered probable or certain : expected
it was not supposed that everybody could master the technical aspectsJ. C. Murray
: understood
you will be supposed to refer to my grandauntG. B. Shaw
: made or fashioned by intent or design
what's that button supposed to do
: required by or as if by authority
soldiers are supposed to obey their commanding officers
: given permission : permitted
was not supposed to have visitors

Example Sentences

this new computer program is a supposed improvement over the old one
Recent Examples on the Web Rumors in the South Carolina town quickly spread, proposing that Stephen was the victim of a homophobic hate crime because of his supposed secret relationship with Buster. Briannah Rivera, Seventeen, 28 Feb. 2023 Its supposed headquarters turned out to be shared with a bus company. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 27 Feb. 2023 Its supposed efficiency, plus the scalable Render Slices design (up to eight slices for the higher-power chips), offers a claimed improvement of up to 1.5 times performance per watt over Iris Xe. Matthew Buzzi, PCMAG, 30 Mar. 2022 Then again, this kind of chaos also feels exactly on brand for the Recording Academy — a reminder that Grammys gonna Grammy, no matter what the bookies (and the supposed winds of change) say. Leah Greenblatt,, 6 Feb. 2023 Republican lawmakers opportunistically lambasted President Biden for his supposed weakness on China. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 5 Feb. 2023 Maca root is a plant native to the Andes Mountains in Peru and has been used traditionally for its supposed medicinal properties. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 15 Jan. 2023 Some commenters believed the image was fabricated, while others expressed anger over the supposed message from the governor. Nate Trela, USA TODAY, 31 Dec. 2022 What began in 2020 as rumors that cast doubt on the existence or seriousness of Covid quickly evolved into often outlandish claims about dangerous technology lurking in masks and the supposed miracle cures from unproven drugs, like ivermectin. Tiffany Hsu, New York Times, 28 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supposed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of supposed was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near supposed

Cite this Entry

“Supposed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


sup·​posed sə-ˈpōzd How to pronounce supposed (audio)
sense 1 usually
-ˈpō-zəd How to pronounce supposed (audio)
senses 2 & 3 often
-ˈpōst How to pronounce supposed (audio)
: believed to be true or real
a supposed cure
: considered probable or certain : expected
they are supposed to be here tomorrow
: required by or as if by authority
you are supposed to listen to your parents
-ˈpō-zəd-lē How to pronounce supposed (audio)
 also  -ˈpōz-dlē

More from Merriam-Webster on supposed

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

A Good Old-Fashioned Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?