tentative Definition

  • 1not certain or fixed; provisional
  • 2done without confidence; hesitant

Using tentative: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "tentative" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    They made a tentative agreement to meet again next week.

  • Example

    The company has announced tentative plans to expand overseas.

  • Example

    She took a tentative step forward, unsure of her footing.

  • Example

    He spoke in a tentative voice, as if unsure of what to say.

tentative Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with tentative

  • a smile that is uncertain or hesitant, often due to shyness or nervousness


    She gave him a tentative smile, not sure how he would react.

  • a plan that is not yet confirmed or finalized, often subject to change


    Their tentative plan is to travel to Europe next summer, but they haven't booked anything yet.

  • slow and uncertain steps taken with caution, often due to fear or lack of confidence


    The child took tentative steps towards the edge of the pool, afraid of falling in.

Origins of tentative

from Latin 'tentare', meaning 'to try'


Summary: tentative in Brief

The term 'tentative' [ˈtɛntətɪv] refers to something that is not certain or fixed, often provisional or subject to change. It can also describe actions done without confidence or hesitation, exemplified by 'She took a tentative step forward.' 'Tentative' extends into phrases like 'tentative smile,' and 'tentative plan,' denoting uncertainty or hesitancy.

How do native speakers use this expression?