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[suh-pohzd, -poh-zid] /səˈpoʊzd, -ˈpoʊ zɪd/
assumed as true, regardless of fact; hypothetical:
a supposed case.
accepted or believed as true, without positive knowledge:
the supposed site of an ancient temple.
merely thought to be such; imagined:
supposed gains.
Origin of supposed
1560-70; suppose + -ed2
Related forms
[suh-poh-zid-lee] /səˈpoʊ zɪd li/ (Show IPA),
nonsupposed, adjective
unsupposed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for supposedly
  • There was, in fact, someone behind bars for what he'd supposedly done during the subprime bubble.
  • We find this particularly distressing in a scholarly community supposedly devoted to freewheeling inquiry.
  • The mission is to embed propaganda messages in supposedly objective reports.
  • Finding traces of pollution in a supposedly pristine mountain brook is sadly no longer surprising.
  • She supposedly watched the procession from afar and immediately returned to exile.
  • Some soldiers supposedly have a sixth sense when it comes to spotting bombs.
  • Villa's ride with his horse on the gorgeous marble stairs where his horse supposedly chipped one of the steps.
  • Even when supposedly non-lethal weapons are used to subdue a suspect, people can still die.
  • supposedly it's all part of the great vegan conspiracy.
  • They won't hold water as well as the lower one, but they'll supposedly last a bit longer.
British Dictionary definitions for supposedly


/səˈpəʊzd; -ˈpəʊzɪd/
(prenominal) presumed to be true without certain knowledge: his supposed date of birth
(prenominal) believed to be true on slight grounds; highly doubtful: the supposed existence of ghosts
(səˈpəʊzd), (postpositive) foll by to. expected or obliged (to): I'm supposed to be there at nine
(səˈpəʊzd), (postpositive; used in negative) foll by to. expected or obliged not (to): you're not supposed to walk on the grass
Derived Forms
supposedly (səˈpəʊzɪdlɪ) adverb
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 supposedly

1610s, from supposed + -ly (2).



"believed or thought to exist," 1580s, past participle adjective from suppose (q.v.); often with the -e- pronounced, to distinguish it from the passive past tense supposed, now common in the sense of "to have a duty or obligation" (1859).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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