[suh-pohzd, -poh-zid]


assumed as true, regardless of fact; hypothetical: a supposed case.
accepted or believed as true, without positive knowledge: the supposed site of an ancient temple.
merely thought to be such; imagined: supposed gains.

Origin of supposed

First recorded in 1560–70; suppose + -ed2
Related formssup·pos·ed·ly [suh-poh-zid-lee] /səˈpoʊ zɪd li/, adverbnon·sup·posed, adjectiveun·sup·posed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for supposedly

probably, apparently, allegedly, purportedly, supposably

Examples from the Web for supposedly

Contemporary Examples of supposedly

Historical Examples of supposedly

  • A woman got in the way by accident, supposedly, of their getaway from the bank.

    Second Sight

    Basil Eugene Wells

  • When the books are supposedly familiar to all readers, the marks are not used.


    Frederick W. Hamilton

  • Probably I did look young; and then Nannie, whom I was supposedly visiting, was only fifteen.


    Jean Webster

  • I can then return in the future, supposedly to make further orders.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • We are supposedly a democracy, and our superstructure is plutocratic.

    A Far Country, Complete

    Winston Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for supposedly



(prenominal) presumed to be true without certain knowledgehis supposed date of birth
(prenominal) believed to be true on slight grounds; highly doubtfulthe supposed existence of ghosts
(səˈpəʊzd) (postpositive foll by to) expected or obliged (to)I'm supposed to be there at nine
(səˈpəʊzd) (postpositive; used in negative foll by to) expected or obliged not (to)you're not supposed to walk on the grass
Derived Formssupposedly (səˈpəʊzɪdlɪ), adverb
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 supposedly

1610s, from supposed + -ly (2).



"believed or thought to exist," 1580s, past participle adjective from suppose (q.v.); often with the -e- pronounced, to distinguish it from the passive past tense supposed, now common in the sense of "to have a duty or obligation" (1859).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper