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[pyoo-tuh-tiv] /ˈpyu tə tɪv/
commonly regarded as such; reputed; supposed:
the putative boss of the mob.
Origin of putative
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin putātīvus reputed, equivalent to putāt(us) (past participle of putāre to think, consider, reckon, orig. to clean, prune) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
putatively, adverb
unputative, adjective
unputatively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for putative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I am sure I do not know," I murmured, as I fumbled the portrait of my putative uncle.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • Laura's putative father, Orsino Orsini, was present at the ceremony.

    Lucretia Borgia Ferdinand Gregorovius
  • As of this moment your putative services will be no longer required.

  • He publishes but one book, of which he is the putative author.

    Work for Women George J. Manson
  • Would you care to hazard a surmise about the identity of these putative pirates?

    The Pirates of Shan Harold Leland Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for putative


(prenominal) commonly regarded as being: the putative father
(prenominal) considered to exist or have existed; inferred
(grammar) denoting a mood of the verb in some languages used when the speaker does not have direct evidence of what he is asserting, but has inferred it on the basis of something else
Derived Forms
putatively, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin putātīvus supposed, from Latin putāre to consider
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 putative

early 15c., from Middle French putatif, from Late Latin putativus "supposed," from Latin putat-, past participle stem of putare "to judge, suppose, believe, suspect," originally "to clean, trim, prune" (see pave). At first especially in putative marriage, one which, though legally invalid, was contracted in good faith by at least one party. Related: Putatively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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