WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH supposablysupposably , supposedly
Words nearby supposably
SUPPOSABLY VS. SUPPOSEDLY
What’s the difference between supposably and supposedly?
Supposably is an uncommonly used word that means about the same thing as presumably or conceivably—as may be assumed, imagined, or supposed to be correct, as in We could supposably make the trip in a single day, but that would be pushing it. Supposedly is much more commonly used and means according to what is believed or accepted, without actually knowing for sure, as in Supposedly, he’s bringing the cake. Sometimes, supposedly means according to what is falsely claimed, assumed, or imagined, as in The supposedly safe ride injured eight people.
Yes, supposably is a “real word.” In a lot of cases, though, it’s mistakenly used in place of supposedly. Still, its meaning may sometimes actually fit the situation (even if the person who said it really meant supposedly).
Trying to remember the difference between the meaning of the two words can be tricky because both relate to what is believed or assumed and are adverbs (they’re used to modify or describe verbs or adjectives or even entire statements).
Here’s a great way to keep them straight: remember that supposably usually expresses the possibility that something might or could happen or be true, while supposedly often expresses doubt or uncertainty about something happening or being true.
Some people avoid using supposably altogether, instead opting for synonyms like presumably and conceivably, which are more common—and more likely to be clearly understood.
Here’s an example of supposably and supposedly used correctly in a sentence.
Example: With the number of new developers we’re supposedly hiring, we could supposably finish the project by the end of the summer.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between supposably and supposedly.
Quiz yourself on supposably vs. supposedly!
Should supposably or supposedly be used in the following sentence?
He _____ did the laundry, but the hamper is still full.
How to use supposably in a sentence
We’re seeing eight-standard-deviation events happen every other day—these are supposed to happen every hundred years.The biggest risks and opportunities for investors in 2021|matthewheimer|November 20, 2020|Fortune
For weeks now, schools have been implementing “phase one” – which is supposed to allow students who have fallen behind to come back to school for in-person, appointment-based sessions.The Learning Curve: Even With Schools Closed, State of District ‘Unstoppable’|Will Huntsberry|November 19, 2020|Voice of San Diego
Further suppose those shapes are all convex, with no indentations.Scientists Uncover the Universal Geometry of Geology|Joshua Sokol|November 19, 2020|Quanta Magazine
Shelter staff are supposed to call to check on the children 30 days after their release to ensure they are still living their sponsor, safe, in school and aware of coming court dates.Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories|by Melissa Sanchez|November 19, 2020|ProPublica
Two other sources pointed to the recent lean stretch everybody went through this year, where numerous publishers grudgingly allowed advertisers to pause or cancel deals, sometimes just days before campaigns are supposed to go live.
The spider and the fly was nothing to the arrangements they had made to receive their supposably unsuspicious guests.Frontier Boys on the Coast|Capt. Wyn Roosevelt
A wind might supposably have blown her away, but one knew it would not, because she was firm and steady on her small feet.T. Tembarom|Frances Hodgson Burnett
But I'm not supposably the kind of priest you mean, and I don't think just such a priest supposable.A Foregone Conclusion|William Dean Howells
But the extreme poles of her affection are supposably represented by Phaon and Anactoria.
At this time Mme. du Deffand had supposably reformed her conduct, if not her belief.The Women of the French Salons|Amelia Gere Mason