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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[im-plis-it] /ɪmˈplɪs ɪt/
implied, rather than expressly stated:
implicit agreement.
unquestioning or unreserved; absolute:
implicit trust; implicit obedience; implicit confidence.
potentially contained (usually followed by in):
to bring out the drama implicit in the occasion.
Mathematics. (of a function) having the dependent variable not explicitly expressed in terms of the independent variables, as x 2 + y 2 = 1.
Compare explicit (def 6).
Obsolete, entangled.
Origin of implicit
1590-1600; < Latin implicitus involved, obscure, variant past participle of implicāre. See implicate, -ite2
Related forms
implicitly, adverb
implicitness, implicity, noun
unimplicitly, adverb
Can be confused
explicit, implicit, implied.
2. inherent, complete, total. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for implicitly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • None know their missions, or what master they may serve, except the one whose will they implicitly obey.

    High Noon Anonymous
  • For months Donald Whiting had obeyed Linda implicitly and instantly.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • The doctors had called her conviction "a case of mania," and he had implicitly believed them.

    Under False Pretences Adeline Sergeant
  • "You spoke a while ago as if you didn't trust him implicitly," she said.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • You may believe it implicitly, said Sir Francis, who had taken a sheet of paper and was writing rapidly upon it.

    Dust Julian Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for implicitly


not explicit; implied; indirect: there was implicit criticism in his voice
absolute and unreserved; unquestioning: you have implicit trust in him
(when postpositive) foll by in. contained or inherent: to bring out the anger implicit in the argument
(maths) (of a function) having an equation of the form f(x,y) = 0, in which y cannot be directly expressed in terms of x, as in xy + x² + y³x ² = 0 Compare explicit1 (sense 4)
(obsolete) intertwined
Derived Forms
implicitly, adverb
implicitness, implicity, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin implicitus, variant of implicātus interwoven; see implicate
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
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Word Origin and History for implicitly

c.1600, from implicit + -ly (2).


1590s, from Middle French implicite and directly from Latin implicitus, later variant of implicatus, past participle of implicare (see implication).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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