(Pronounced [[t]səpo͟ʊzd[/t]] or [[t]səpo͟ʊst[/t]] for meanings 1 to 4, and [[t]səpo͟ʊzɪd[/t]] for meaning 5.)
1) PHR-MODAL If you say that something is supposed to happen, you mean that it is planned or expected. Sometimes this use suggests that the thing does not really happen in this way.

He produced a hand-written list of nine men he was supposed to kill...

Public spending is supposed to fall, not rise, in the next few years.

is meant to
2) PHR-MODAL If something was supposed to happen, it was planned or intended to happen, but did not in fact happen.

He was supposed to go back to Bergen on the last bus, but of course the accident prevented him...

The first debate was supposed to have been held on Tuesday.

3) PHR-MODAL If you say that something is supposed to be true, you mean that people say it is true but you do not know for certain that it is true.

`The Whipping Block' has never been published, but it's supposed to be a really good poem...

`The President cannot be disturbed,' his son is supposed to have told an early morning caller.

be meant to
4) PHR-MODAL (feelings) You can use `be supposed to' to express annoyance at someone's ideas, or because something is not happening in the proper way.

You're supposed to be my friend!...

Don't try to tell me what I'm supposed to be feeling...

What am I supposed to have done wrong now?

5) ADJ: ADJ n You can use supposed to suggest that something that people talk about or believe in may not in fact exist, happen, or be as it is described.

Not all indigenous regimes were willing to accept the supposed benefits of British trade.

...when the rule of law is broken by its supposed guardians.

Derived words:
supposedly [[t]səpo͟ʊzɪdli[/t]] ADV ADV with v, ADV with cl/group

He was more of a victim than any of the women he supposedly offended...

Supposedly his last words to her were: `You must not pity me.'

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • supposed — supposed, supposititious, suppositious, reputed, putative, purported, conjectural, hypothetical can mean accepted or advanced as true, real, or in accordance with the facts on the basis of less than conclusive evidence. All imply a measure of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • supposed — believed or thought to exist, 1580s, pp. adj. from SUPPOSE (Cf. suppose) (q.v.); often with the e pronounced, to distinguish it from the passive p.t. supposed, now common in the sense of to have a duty or obligation (1859) …   Etymology dictionary

  • supposed — index apparent (presumptive), assumed (inferred), hypothetical, ostensible, plausible, presumptive …   Law dictionary

  • supposed — [sə pōzd′, səpō′zid] adj. 1. regarded as true, genuine, etc., without actual knowledge 2. merely imagined …   English World dictionary

  • supposed to — Expected, intended or required to • • • Main Entry: ↑suppose …   Useful english dictionary

  • supposed — adjective Date: 1566 1. a. pretended < twelve hours are supposed to elapse between Acts I and II A. S. Sullivan > b. alleged < trusted my supposed friends > 2. a. held as an opinion ; believed; also …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • supposed — adj. supposed to + inf. (it was supposed to rain; she was supposed to work today) * * * [sə pəʊzd] supposed to + inf. (it was supposed to rain; she was supposed to work today) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • supposed — adjective 1. required or under orders (Freq. 4) I m supposed to be there at ten he was supposed to go to the store • Similar to: ↑obligated 2. mistakenly believed (Freq. 2) the supposed existence of ghosts …   Useful english dictionary

  • supposed — supposedly /seuh poh zid lee/, adv. /seuh pohzd , poh zid/, adj. 1. assumed as true, regardless of fact; hypothetical: a supposed case. 2. accepted or believed as true, without positive knowledge: the supposed site of an ancient temple. 3. merely …   Universalium

  • supposed — sup•posed [[t]səˈpoʊzd, ˈpoʊ zɪd[/t]] adj. 1) assumed as true; hypothetical: a supposed case[/ex] 2) accepted as true, without positive knowledge: the supposed site of an ancient temple[/ex] 3) merely thought to be such; imagined: supposed… …   From formal English to slang

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