• synonyms


  1. commonly regarded as such; reputed; supposed: the putative boss of the mob.
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Origin of putative

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin putātīvus reputed, equivalent to putāt(us) (past participle of putāre to think, consider, reckon, orig. to clean, prune) + -īvus -ive
Related formspu·ta·tive·ly, adverbun·pu·ta·tive, adjectiveun·pu·ta·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for putatively

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The necklace had, in fact, made no end of trouble for several hundred putatively innocent and guileless passengers.

    The Bandbox

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for putatively


  1. (prenominal) commonly regarded as beingthe putative father
  2. (prenominal) considered to exist or have existed; inferred
  3. grammar denoting a mood of the verb in some languages used when the speaker does not have direct evidence of what he is asserting, but has inferred it on the basis of something else
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Derived Formsputatively, adverb

Word Origin

C15: from Late Latin putātīvus supposed, from Latin putāre to consider
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for putatively



early 15c., from Middle French putatif, from Late Latin putativus "supposed," from Latin putat-, past participle stem of putare "to judge, suppose, believe, suspect," originally "to clean, trim, prune" (see pave). At first especially in putative marriage, one which, though legally invalid, was contracted in good faith by at least one party. Related: Putatively.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper