• IPA: /ˈpɹɛdɪkət/

predicate (plural predicates)

  1. (grammar) The part of the sentence (or clause) which states something about the subject or the object of the sentence.
    In "The dog barked very loudly", the subject is "the dog" and the predicate is "barked very loudly".
    • In the light of this observation, consider Number Agreement in a sentence like:
      (120)      They seem to me [S — to be fools/a fool]
      Here, the Predicate Nominal fools agrees with the italicised NP they, in spite of the fact that (as we argued earlier) the two are contained in different Clauses at S-structure. How can this be? Under the NP MOVEMENT analysis of seem structures, sentences like (120) pose no problem; if we suppose that they originates in the — position as the subordinate Clause Subject, then we can say that the Predicate Nominal agrees with the underlying Subject of its Clause. How does they get from its underlying position as subordinate Clause Subject to its superficial position as main Clause Subject? By NP MOVEMENT, of course!
    Thus, in (121) (a) persuade is clearly a three-place Predicate — that is, a Predicate which takes three Arguments: the first of these Arguments is the Subject NP John, the second is the Primary Object NP Mary, and the third is the Secondary Object S-bar [that she should resign]. By contrast, believe in (121) (b) is clearly a two-place Predicate (i.e. a Predicate which has two Arguments): its first Argument is the Subject NP John, and its second Argument is the Object S-bar [that Mary was innocent].
  2. (logic) A term of a statement, where the statement may be true or false depending on whether the thing referred to by the values of the statement's variables has the property signified by that (predicative) term.
    A nullary predicate is a proposition.
    A predicate is either valid, satisfiable, or unsatisfiable.
  3. (computing) An operator or function that returns either true or false.
Translations Translations Adjective


  1. (grammar) Of or related to the predicate of a sentence or clause.
  2. Predicated, stated.
  3. (law) Relating to or being any of a series of criminal acts upon which prosecution for racketeering may be predicated.
  • IPA: /ˈpɹɛdɪˌkeɪt/

predicate (predicates, present participle predicating; past and past participle predicated)

  1. (transitive) To announce, assert, or proclaim publicly.
  2. (transitive) To assume or suppose; to infer.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, “The Wine-shop”, in A Tale of Two Cities, book I (Recalled to Life), London: Chapman and Hall, […], OCLC 906152507 ↗, page 21 ↗:
      There was a character about Madame Defarge, from which one might have predicated that she did not often make mistakes against herself in any of the reckonings over which she presided.
    • 1880–1881, Thomas Hardy, chapter II, in A Laodicean; or, The Castle of the De Stancys. A Story of To-day. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, […], published 1881, OCLC 1080146765 ↗, book the third (De Stancy), page 59 ↗:
      Of anyone else it would have been said that she was finding the afternoon rather dreary in the vast halls not of her forefathers: but of Miss Power it was unsafe to predicate so surely.
  3. (transitive, originally, US) to base#Verb|base (on); to assert on the grounds of.
    • 1978, Michel Foucault, The Will to Knowledge, trans. Robert Hurley (Penguin 1998, page 81):
      The law is what constitutes both desire and the lack on which it is predicated.
  4. (transitive, grammar) To make#Verb|make a term#Noun|term (or expression) the predicate of a statement.
  5. (transitive, logic) To assert or state#Verb|state as an attribute or quality of something.
    • 1911, Encyclopedia Britannica, Conceptualism
      This quality becomes real as a mental concept when it is predicated of all the objects possessing it (“quod de pluribus natum est praedicari”).
Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: basear-se em

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