[suh-pohzd, -poh-zid]
See more synonyms for supposed on
  1. assumed as true, regardless of fact; hypothetical: a supposed case.
  2. accepted or believed as true, without positive knowledge: the supposed site of an ancient temple.
  3. 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


  1. (prenominal) presumed to be true without certain knowledgehis supposed date of birth
  2. (prenominal) believed to be true on slight grounds; highly doubtfulthe supposed existence of ghosts
  3. (səˈpəʊzd) (postpositive foll by to) expected or obliged (to)I'm supposed to be there at nine
  4. (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