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.

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
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples 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 Formstentatively, 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

Word Origin and History for tentativeness

tentative


adj.

1580s, from Medieval Latin tentativus "trying, testing," from Latin tentatus, past participle of tentare "to feel, try," (variant of temptare "to feel, try, test"). Related: Tentatively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper