Definition of tentative in English:

tentative

Syllabification: ten·ta·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈtentətiv
 
/

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

Derivatives

tentatively

adverb
More 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

noun
More 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.

Origin

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

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