Share this entry

Share this page

tentative

Syllabification: ten·ta·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈten(t)ədiv
 
/

Definition of tentative in English:

adjective

1Not certain or fixed; provisional: a tentative conclusion
More example sentences
  • It was a kind of empire built on very provisional and tentative things that might happen.
  • The inspector steered him towards the Ministry of Agriculture and the plan got a tentative tick - with provisos.
  • There is enough data for us to draw more than tentative conclusions as to their future performance.
Synonyms
provisional, unconfirmed, penciled in, iffy, preliminary, to be confirmed, subject to confirmation;
speculative, conjectural, sketchy, untried, unproven, exploratory, experimental, trial, test, pilot
1.1Done without confidence; hesitant: he eventually tried a few tentative steps round his hospital room
More example sentences
  • Alice was a touch tentative about what she said to Seth that night.
  • Some athletes return from injuries a little tentative.
  • It's an ideal place to make those tentative first dives in the ocean.
Synonyms
hesitant, uncertain, cautious, timid, hesitating, faltering, shaky, unsteady, halting;
wavering, unsure

Origin

late 16th century: from medieval Latin tentativus, from tentare, variant of temptare 'handle, try'.

Derivatives

tentatively

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • With the weathermen tentatively giving clement weather, it should be an enjoyable day for all.
  • Gradually they came closer and closer, tentatively pecking at crumbs.
  • I had tentatively agreed to an outing with my friend that lives in Cambridge.

tentativeness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • However, he played with some uncertainty and tentativeness, and no one is sure just how durable he will be.
  • It has a kind of pre-meditated tentativeness; a deliberate uncertainty.
  • Despite the tentativeness of the headline, do not doubt that the mediation will occur.

Definition of tentative in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?