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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French predicate (French prédicat), from post-classical Late Latin praedicatum (thing said of a subject), a noun use of the neuter past participle of praedicare (proclaim), as Etymology 2, below.



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".
  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. Also, an instance of a predicate whose terms are all constant — e.g., P(2,3) — acts as a proposition.
    A predicate can be thought of as either a relation (between elements of the domain of discourse) or as a truth-valued function (of said elements).
    A predicate is either valid, satisfiable, or unsatisfiable.
    There are two ways of binding a predicate's variables: one is to assign constant values to those variables, the other is to quantify over those variables (using universal or existential quantifiers). If all of a predicate's variables are bound, the resulting formula is a proposition.
  3. (computing) An operator or function that returns either true or false.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin predicātus, perfect passive participle of praedicō, from prae + dicō (declare, proclaim), from dicō (say, tell).


  • IPA(key): /ˈprɛdɪˌkeɪt/


predicate (third-person singular simple present predicates, present participle predicating, simple past and past participle predicated)

  1. (transitive) To announce or assert publicly.
  2. (transitive, logic) To state, assert.
  3. (transitive) To suppose, assume; to infer.
    • 1859: 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. — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
    • 1881: Of anyone else it would have been said that she must be finding the afternoon rather dreary in the quaint halls not of her forefathers: but of Miss Power it was unsafe to predicate so surely. — Thomas Hardy, A Laodicean
  4. (transitive, originally US) To base (on); to assert on the grounds of.
    • 1978: the law is what constitutes both desire and the lack on which it is predicated. — Michel Foucault, The Will to Knowledge, trans. Robert Hurley (Penguin 1998, p. 81)

External links[edit]




  1. second-person plural present tense and imperative of predicare