Word of the Day Archive
Friday May 2, 2003
putative \PYOO-tuh-tiv\ , adjective:
Commonly thought or deemed; supposed; reputed.
Certainly, to have even a putative ancestor commemorated by Shakespeare is something about which to boast.
-- Frances Spalding, Duncan Grant: A Biography
A report has found that the putative evidence for the paper that started the controversy was fabricated.
-- Margot O'Toole, "The Whistle-Blower and the Train Wreck", New York Times, April 12, 1991
Putative comes from Late Latin putativus, from Latin putare, "to cleanse, to prune, to clear up, to consider, to reckon, to think." It is related to compute, "to calculate" (from com-, intensive prefix + putare); dispute, "to contend in argument" (from dis-, "apart" + putare); and reputation, "the estimation in which one is held" (from reputatio, from the past participle of reputare, "to think over," from re-, "again" + putare).