A Word A Day : Tentative

Thursday, 20th December 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : tén-ta-tiv

1. said or done in a slow, hesitant, and careful way that reveals a lack of confidence

2. likely to have changes before becoming final and complete

3. not fully worked out, concluded, or agreed on; provisional


Late 16th century - medieval Latin tentativus - Latin tentare, variant of temptare - feel, try


provisional, exploratory, speculative, unconfirmed, indefinite, unsettled, not final, rough, open to consideration, hesitant, cautious, uncertain, faltering, unsure, timid, shy


sure, definite, certain, decisive, final, conclusive

Contextual Examples:

• Those tentative about making plans are often unsure of their ability to show up.

• Their great diversity shows the tentative character of early endeavours to think.

• He presented a tentative report on her findings.

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