tentative

[ ten-tuh-tiv ]
/ ˈtɛn tə tɪv /

adjective

of the nature of or made or done as a trial, experiment, or attempt; experimental: a tentative report on her findings.
unsure; uncertain; not definite or positive; hesitant: a tentative smile on his face.

QUIZZES

TAKE ROUND 2 OF OUR PSAT VOCABULARY QUIZ!

Here is our second set of teacher-selected PSAT vocabulary words. Do you know the meanings of these terms?
Question 1 of 10
advocate

Origin of tentative

1580–90; < Medieval Latin tentātīvus, equivalent to Latin tentāt(us) (past participle of tentāre, variant of temptāre to test; see tempt) + -īvus -ive

OTHER WORDS FROM tentative

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for tentativeness

  • In Libya, the crisis of American tentativeness has grown worse almost by the day.

    Obama's Middle East Head Spin|Christopher Dickey, John Barry|April 22, 2011|DAILY BEAST
  • But in Libya the crisis of American tentativeness has grown worse almost by the day.

    Obama's Middle East Head Spin|Christopher Dickey, John Barry|April 22, 2011|DAILY BEAST
  • Lute's eyes were quizzical as she asked with a tentativeness that was palpably assumed, "With—a—with Mr. Barton?"

  • The fact that he remained standing imparted a tentativeness to the situation.

    The Shadow|Arthur Stringer

British Dictionary definitions for tentativeness

tentative
/ (ˈtɛntətɪv) /

adjective

provisional or experimental; conjectural
hesitant, uncertain, or cautious

Derived forms of tentative

tentatively, adverbtentativeness, noun

Word Origin for tentative

C16: from Medieval Latin tentātīvus, from Latin tentāre to test
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