- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tentativeness
In Libya, the crisis of American tentativeness has grown worse almost by the day.
But in Libya the crisis of American tentativeness has grown worse almost by the day.
- provisional or experimental; conjectural
- hesitant, uncertain, or cautious
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
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