V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. unsure, hesitant, or showing a lack of confidence; 2. not finalized, not fully worked out

Synonyms: doubtful, uncertain, hesitant, provisional, conditional, probationary, indefinite

Antonyms: definite, final, permanent

Tips: Tentative has its roots in the Latin temptare, "to feel or try." When you're "feeling something out" and are unsure about it, you are tentative about the decision. Likewise, if an idea or plan is tentative, it hasn't been fully worked out and is still temporary. The adverb tentatively is often used to describe a scheduled meeting that is not 100% certain to take place: "We are tentatively scheduled to meet at 3:00, but I'm still waiting for confirmation."

Usage Examples:

The two companies signed a tentative agreement until further details of the arrangement could be worked out. (provisional, conditional)

She was tentative about accepting the job offer, since it meant having to move to a different city. (uncertain, hesitant)

The two friends made tentative plans to have dinner on Friday night, since they weren't sure what time they would get off work. (indefinite)

I've made a tentative choice, but I'm still looking at my options. (uncertain, indefinite, provisional)

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