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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[aj-ik-tahy-vuh l] /ˌædʒ ɪkˈtaɪ vəl/
of, relating to, or used as an adjective.
describing by means of many adjectives; depending for effect on intensive qualification of subject matter, as a writer, style, or essay.
Origin of adjectival
1790-1800; adjective + -al1
Related forms
adjectivally, adverb
nonadjectival, adjective
nonadjectivally, adverb
preadjectival, adjective
preadjectivally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for adjectival
Historical Examples
  • There are some adjectival surnames which are not immediately recognizable.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • The yellow beak is long and curved, hence the adjectival "scimitar."

  • In huss, the German for goose, we may recognise the oose without its adjectival ‘g’.

    Archaic England Harold Bayley
  • They are formed by adding the adjectival suffix -a to the cardinals.

    A Complete Grammar of Esperanto Ivy Kellerman Reed
  • In the first place the crude form seric was neither Latin nor Greek, so that the -ic could not be adjectival.

    Opuscula Robert Gordon Latham
  • They are essentially adjectives, and follow the adjectival rules as to the formation of the plural and the accusative.

  • The adjectival form has, as seen above, a tendency to make the vowel of the preceding syllable small: old, elder.

    The English Language Robert Gordon Latham
  • Apps is sometimes for asp, the tree now called by the adjectival name aspen (cf. linden).

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • In No. 19-1 word is adjectival in meaning, and can45 no more take a comma than can good in good man.

    Why We Punctuate William Livingston Klein
  • To interpret an adjectival nickname we must go to its meaning in Chaucer and his contemporaries.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
Word Origin and History for adjectival

1797, from adjective + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for adjectival



Euphemistic substitute for an expletive adjective: You adjectival idiot! (1850+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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