Definition of tentative in English:


See synonyms for tentative

Translate tentative into Spanish


  • 1Not certain or fixed; provisional.

    ‘a tentative conclusion’
    • ‘It was a kind of empire built on very provisional and tentative things that might happen.’
    • ‘The inspector steered him towards the Ministry of Agriculture and the plan got a tentative tick - with provisos.’
    • ‘There is enough data for us to draw more than tentative conclusions as to their future performance.’
    • ‘Now, I may finally keep track of my journey with solid dates, instead of tentative time periods.’
    • ‘While such research is illuminating, its conclusions are always tentative and probabilistic.’
    • ‘Based on this, my tentative conclusion is that the ‘moral values’ vote is a red herring.’
    • ‘If these approvals are established, the tentative starting date would be September 2005.’
    • ‘Given the small size of the population I have considered, my own conclusions are necessarily tentative.’
    • ‘Organizers expect the park to be skate ready for a tentative kick-off date of September 30 this year.’
    • ‘My tentative conclusion: The Administration should lead, without focusing too much on the polls.’
    • ‘Court officials said the new dates are tentative and may still change depending on how the motion to consolidate the charges is resolved.’
    • ‘But the official also stressed that the report was based on tentative conclusions and said the analysis is not yet final.’
    • ‘Field notes and memos that explored tentative meanings from the data enhanced conclusion drawing.’
    • ‘Mape members begin voting on a tentative contract agreement this week, with results expected November 20.’
    • ‘Our findings provide preliminary and highly tentative impressions.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, NASA presented a tentative exploration strategy paper at the international workshop.’
    • ‘The two organisations are already exploring tentative plans to meet and discuss a joint approach to developing a national stadium.’
    • ‘But sometimes, it would just be a little tentative exploration of the idea that some of the official stories of world events might not be the full truth.’
    • ‘To arrive at some tentative answers to these questions we might first consider some winners and losers.’
    • ‘At this stage, however, ideas about what causes the link between early mental ability and risk for dementia are only tentative.’
    provisional, unconfirmed, unsettled, indefinite, pencilled in, preliminary, to be confirmed, TBC, subject to confirmation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Done without confidence; hesitant.
      ‘he eventually tried a few tentative steps round his hospital room’
      • ‘Alice was a touch tentative about what she said to Seth that night.’
      • ‘Some athletes return from injuries a little tentative.’
      • ‘It's an ideal place to make those tentative first dives in the ocean.’
      • ‘There was nothing tentative about Bill's technique.’
      • ‘Just then, there was the sound of three tentative knocks, and the man clad in the wolf costume turned around.’
      • ‘It would destroy any tentative revival of confidence and spending.’
      • ‘Through their daughters they made the first tentative steps towards friendship.’
      • ‘So when I strapped on a pair of skis two years ago, it was a rather tentative individual who stepped on the snow.’
      • ‘If you're taking tentative steps up the professional ladder, consider all the options.’
      • ‘With the help of hospital physio teams, Dawn has taken her first tentative steps on false legs this month.’
      • ‘Three tiger cubs born in Scotland will this week take their first tentative steps into the great outdoors.’
      • ‘Without the weight of the anklets she felt as though she were floating - each step was like a tentative attempt at takeoff.’
      • ‘Some local authorities, including Liverpool, have already taken tentative steps towards a ban on smoking.’
      • ‘It's a whole combination of things, that's what I was trying to say, the ability to draw is just the first tentative step.’
      • ‘It was just about 12 years ago that I sat on my living room floor, watching Natalie take her first tentative steps.’
      • ‘Bebbens cleared his throat and took a tentative step forward.’
      • ‘I slowed down to a tentative walk as I stepped onto Myra's walkway.’
      • ‘The first tentative steps towards allowing women to become bishops was taken by the Church of England's parliament yesterday.’
      • ‘Both sides began in the tentative fashion that was to be expected in a winner-takes-all contest.’
      • ‘What began as a tentative dance has become a passionate embrace.’
      hesitant, uncertain, cautious, unconfident, timid, hesitating, faltering, shaky, unsteady, halting
      View synonyms



/ˈten(t)ədiv/ /ˈtɛn(t)ədɪv/


Late 16th century from medieval Latin tentativus, from tentare, variant of temptare ‘handle, try’.