Top 57 Slang For Tentative – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to expressing uncertainty or hesitation, language can play a key role in conveying your message effectively. Exploring the world of slang for tentative situations can add a playful twist to your conversations and help you navigate those moments of doubt with style. Let us guide you through a curated list of trendy and relatable terms that will have you feeling confident in expressing your uncertainty like a pro. Get ready to level up your slang game and embrace the art of being tentatively cool!

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1. Maybe so

This phrase is used to express uncertainty or a lack of commitment to a statement or idea. It suggests that something is possible but not definite.

  • For example, if someone asks if you’ll attend a party, you might respond, “Maybe so, I’ll have to check my schedule.”
  • In a discussion about future plans, someone might say, “Maybe so, but let’s not make any promises just yet.”
  • If asked about a potential outcome, you could reply, “Maybe so, but it’s hard to say for sure.”

2. Kinda

This word is a shortened version of “kind of” and is used to express a moderate or partial agreement or similarity. It indicates a degree of uncertainty or hesitation in the statement.

  • For instance, if someone asks if you enjoyed a movie, you might respond, “Kinda, I thought the ending was a bit confusing.”
  • In a discussion about a new restaurant, you could say, “The food was kinda good, but the service was slow.”
  • If asked about your opinion on a certain topic, you might reply, “I’m kinda on the fence about it, I can see both sides.”

3. Sorta

Similar to “kinda,” this word is a shortened version of “sort of” and is used to express a degree of uncertainty or vagueness. It suggests a partial agreement or similarity.

  • For example, if someone asks if you like a particular song, you might respond, “Sorta, it’s not really my style.”
  • In a discussion about a book, you could say, “I sorta enjoyed it, but the ending was disappointing.”
  • If asked about your plans for the weekend, you might reply, “I’m sorta busy, but I might be able to hang out for a bit.”

4. Possibly

This word indicates that something is within the realm of possibility but not definite. It suggests uncertainty or a lack of commitment to a statement or idea.

  • For instance, if someone asks if you’ll be able to attend an event, you might respond, “Possibly, I’ll have to check my schedule.”
  • In a discussion about potential outcomes, someone might say, “It could possibly happen, but there are no guarantees.”
  • If asked about the likelihood of a certain scenario, you could reply, “It’s possibly true, but we’ll need more evidence to be sure.”

5. Perhaps

This word is used to express uncertainty or a lack of commitment to a statement or idea. It suggests that something is possible but not definite.

  • For example, if someone asks if you’ll join them for dinner, you might respond, “Perhaps, I’ll let you know later.”
  • In a discussion about future plans, someone might say, “We could perhaps do that, but let’s consider other options too.”
  • If asked about a potential solution to a problem, you could reply, “Perhaps it could work, but we’ll need to test it first.”

6. In a way

This phrase is used to express a level of uncertainty or hesitation. It implies that something is true or accurate to some extent, but not completely.

  • For example, “In a way, I can understand why she made that decision.”
  • A person might say, “In a way, it makes sense to prioritize safety over convenience.”
  • Someone might express their perspective by saying, “In a way, I feel like I’ve already accomplished my goals.”

7. To some degree

This phrase indicates that something is true or valid to a certain extent, but not fully or completely.

  • For instance, “To some degree, I agree with your argument.”
  • A person might say, “To some degree, I can relate to what you’re going through.”
  • Someone might express their opinion by saying, “To some degree, I believe that hard work pays off.”

8. Not entirely sure

This phrase suggests a level of uncertainty or lack of complete confidence in a particular situation or statement.

  • For example, “I’m not entirely sure if I can make it to the event.”
  • A person might say, “I’m not entirely sure if I agree with that decision.”
  • Someone might express their doubts by saying, “I’m not entirely sure if this is the right path for me.”

9. Not completely certain

This phrase indicates a lack of complete certainty or conviction about something.

  • For instance, “I’m not completely certain if I want to pursue this career.”
  • A person might say, “I’m not completely certain if I trust him.”
  • Someone might express their reservations by saying, “I’m not completely certain if this is the right time to make a big change.”

10. On the fence

This phrase is used to describe a state of being undecided or unsure about a particular choice or decision.

  • For example, “I’m on the fence about whether to accept the job offer.”
  • A person might say, “I’m on the fence about which vacation destination to choose.”
  • Someone might express their indecision by saying, “I’m on the fence about whether to continue with this project.”

11. On the edge

This phrase is used to describe a situation or decision that is not yet determined or finalized. It implies a sense of being on the brink or in a state of uncertainty.

  • For example, “The outcome of the election is still on the edge.”
  • A person discussing a job offer might say, “I’m on the edge about accepting it because of the long commute.”
  • Someone unsure about a relationship might say, “We’re on the edge of breaking up.”

12. In limbo

This phrase refers to a situation where something is neither here nor there, stuck in a state of uncertainty or indecision. It can also imply a sense of being in a state of suspension or being in between two different outcomes.

  • For instance, “The project is in limbo until we receive further instructions.”
  • A person waiting for test results might say, “I’m in limbo until I find out if I passed.”
  • Someone unsure about their future plans might say, “I feel like I’m in limbo between staying here or moving away.”

13. Up in the air

This phrase is used to describe a situation or decision that has not been determined or finalized. It implies a sense of being uncertain or undecided, often with the outcome still unknown.

  • For example, “The date for the event is still up in the air.”
  • A person discussing travel plans might say, “I’m still up in the air about whether to go or not.”
  • Someone unsure about their career path might say, “My future is up in the air right now.”

14. Playing it by ear

This phrase means to make decisions or plans as the situation develops, without having a predetermined or fixed course of action. It implies a willingness to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances.

  • For instance, “We don’t have a set itinerary for the trip, we’re just playing it by ear.”
  • A person discussing their approach to a project might say, “I prefer to play it by ear and see how things progress.”
  • Someone unsure about their evening plans might say, “I’ll just play it by ear and see what my friends want to do.”

15. Taking it one step at a time

This phrase means to approach a situation or task gradually and cautiously, focusing on each step or stage before moving on to the next. It implies a sense of taking things slowly and deliberately to ensure success or minimize risk.

  • For example, “I’m taking the job search one step at a time and not rushing into anything.”
  • A person discussing their approach to a challenging project might say, “I’m taking it one step at a time to ensure quality.”
  • Someone unsure about their relationship might say, “We’re taking things one step at a time and not rushing into marriage.”

16. With caution

When someone is acting with caution, they are being careful and taking steps to avoid potential risks or mistakes. It can also imply a sense of hesitation or reluctance.

  • For example, a parent might say, “I told my kids to cross the street with caution.”
  • In a warning, someone might say, “Approach that dog with caution, it’s known to be aggressive.”
  • A teacher might advise a student, “When handling chemicals in the lab, always proceed with caution.”

17. With trepidation

When someone does something with trepidation, they are doing it with a sense of fear, anxiety, or unease. It implies a lack of confidence or uncertainty.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I approached the haunted house with trepidation.”
  • In a job interview, someone might admit, “I’m going into this interview with trepidation, as I’m not fully qualified for the position.”
  • A student might say, “I’m taking this difficult course with trepidation, as I’ve heard it’s challenging.”

18. With apprehension

When someone does something with apprehension, they do it with a sense of unease, concern, or worry. It implies a feeling of anticipation for something negative or uncertain.

  • For example, a person might say, “I’m going to the dentist with apprehension, as I’m afraid of needles.”
  • In a suspenseful situation, someone might act with apprehension, saying, “I approached the dark alley with apprehension.”
  • A student might say, “I’m submitting my essay with apprehension, as I’m not sure if it meets the professor’s expectations.”

19. With doubt

When someone does something with doubt, they do it with a sense of uncertainty, skepticism, or lack of confidence. It implies a questioning or disbelief in the outcome or validity of something.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I made the decision with doubt, unsure if it was the right choice.”
  • In a conversation, someone might express doubt by saying, “I highly doubt that he will show up to the party.”
  • A critic might write a review, stating, “I watched the movie with doubt, as the trailer was not promising.”

20. With uncertainty

When someone does something with uncertainty, they do it with a lack of certainty or confidence. It implies a feeling of not knowing or being unsure about the outcome or course of action.

  • For example, a person might say, “I approached the new task with uncertainty, as I had never done it before.”
  • In a decision-making process, someone might express uncertainty by saying, “I’m still uncertain about which option to choose.”
  • A student might say, “I answered the question with uncertainty, as I wasn’t sure of the correct answer.”

21. Sort of

This phrase is used to express uncertainty or hesitation about a statement or opinion. It suggests that something is partially true or only applies in certain circumstances.

  • For example, “I sort of liked the movie, but the ending was disappointing.”
  • In a discussion about a new restaurant, someone might say, “The food was sort of good, but the service was slow.”
  • A person might express their hesitation by saying, “I’m sort of interested in going to the party, but I’m not sure if I can make it.”

22. Potentially

This word indicates that something has the potential to happen or be true, but it is not certain or guaranteed. It suggests that there is a chance or likelihood of something occurring.

  • For instance, “She is potentially the next big star in Hollywood.”
  • In a conversation about job prospects, someone might say, “I’m potentially interested in that position, but I need more information.”
  • A person might express their optimism by saying, “This new treatment could potentially cure the disease.”

23. To some extent

This phrase suggests that something is true or valid only to a limited extent. It indicates that there is some truth or validity to a statement or opinion, but it may not be completely accurate or applicable in all situations.

  • For example, “To some extent, I agree with your argument, but there are also some flaws.”
  • In a discussion about a new policy, someone might say, “The policy is effective to some extent, but it doesn’t address all the issues.”
  • A person might express their reservation by saying, “I trust him to some extent, but I’m still cautious.”

24. Somewhat

This word indicates that something is true or valid to a moderate or limited degree. It suggests that there is some truth or validity to a statement or opinion, but it may not be entirely accurate or applicable in all situations.

  • For instance, “I somewhat enjoyed the movie, but it wasn’t amazing.”
  • In a conversation about a new product, someone might say, “The product is somewhat useful, but it has some limitations.”
  • A person might express their ambivalence by saying, “I’m somewhat interested in going to the party, but I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it.”

25. Partly

This word suggests that something is true or valid only to a limited degree. It indicates that there is some truth or validity to a statement or opinion, but it may not be completely accurate or applicable in all situations.

  • For example, “I partly agree with your argument, but there are some counterpoints to consider.”
  • In a discussion about a project, someone might say, “The project was partly successful, but there were some challenges.”
  • A person might express their mixed feelings by saying, “I’m partly interested in attending the event, but I have other commitments.”

26. Part of the way

This phrase is used to indicate that something is not fully completed or finished. It suggests that progress has been made, but there is still more to be done.

  • For example, “I’ve finished part of the way through the project, but there’s still a lot left to do.”
  • A person discussing their fitness journey might say, “I’m part of the way to reaching my goal weight, but I still have a few pounds to go.”
  • In a conversation about a road trip, someone might mention, “We drove part of the way and then decided to stop for the night.”

27. Not entirely

This phrase implies that something is not fully or completely done. It suggests that there are still some aspects or details that need to be addressed or considered.

  • For instance, “I’m not entirely convinced that this is the right decision.”
  • In a discussion about a book, someone might say, “I enjoyed the story, but the ending left me feeling not entirely satisfied.”
  • A person expressing their opinion might state, “I’m not entirely sure if this new policy will be effective.”

28. Not completely

This phrase indicates that something is not fully or entirely done. It suggests that there are still some parts or elements that need to be completed or addressed.

  • For example, “The project is not completely finished, but we’re making good progress.”
  • In a conversation about a painting, someone might say, “I like the composition, but it’s not completely done yet.”
  • A person discussing their understanding of a concept might admit, “I’ve studied it, but I’m not completely familiar with all the details.”

29. Not fully

This phrase suggests that something is not completely or entirely done. It implies that there are still some aspects or components that need to be addressed or completed.

  • For instance, “I’m not fully convinced that this is the best solution.”
  • In a discussion about a renovation project, someone might say, “The kitchen is not fully finished, but we’re almost there.”
  • A person expressing their opinion might state, “I’m not fully knowledgeable about the topic, but I have some understanding.”

30. Not totally

This phrase indicates that something is not entirely or completely done. It suggests that there are still some parts or elements that need to be addressed or finished.

  • For example, “I’m not totally satisfied with the results, but it’s a good start.”
  • In a conversation about a movie, someone might say, “The plot was interesting, but the ending was not totally clear.”
  • A person discussing their progress in a game might admit, “I haven’t unlocked all the levels yet, so I’m not totally finished.”

31. Not wholly

When someone is not wholly convinced or committed to something. It suggests a level of uncertainty or hesitation.

  • For example, “I’m not wholly convinced that we should go with this plan.”
  • A person might say, “I’m not wholly opposed to the idea, but I have some reservations.”
  • In a discussion about a movie, someone might comment, “I enjoyed it, but I’m not wholly satisfied with the ending.”

32. In part

When something is true or applicable to a certain extent, but not completely.

  • For instance, “In part, I agree with your argument, but there are some points I disagree with.”
  • A person might say, “The success of the project was in part due to the team’s hard work.”
  • In a discussion about a book, someone might comment, “The story was well-written, but in part, it felt a bit predictable.”

33. To a degree

When something is true or valid to a certain extent, but there may be limitations or exceptions.

  • For example, “To a degree, I understand where you’re coming from, but I have a different perspective.”
  • A person might say, “Success in life is to a degree influenced by luck and timing.”
  • In a discussion about a scientific theory, someone might comment, “The theory is supported by evidence, but to a degree, it is still speculative.”

34. To a certain extent

When something is true or valid to a certain extent, but there may be limitations or exceptions.

  • For instance, “I agree with your argument to a certain extent, but I think there are other factors to consider.”
  • A person might say, “To a certain extent, our happiness is influenced by external circumstances.”
  • In a discussion about a political policy, someone might comment, “The policy has its merits, but to a certain extent, it overlooks certain social issues.”

35. To a limited extent

When something is true or valid, but only to a limited extent or with certain restrictions.

  • For example, “The new regulations will only improve the situation to a limited extent.”
  • A person might say, “To a limited extent, technology has made our lives easier, but it has also created new challenges.”
  • In a discussion about a diet plan, someone might comment, “Following the plan will help you lose weight to a limited extent, but other factors like exercise are also important.”

36. To a limited degree

This phrase is used to express that something is only partially true or valid. It implies that there are limitations or restrictions on the statement being made.

  • For example, “To a limited degree, I agree with your argument.”
  • In a discussion about a controversial topic, someone might say, “To a limited degree, I understand your perspective.”
  • Another person might comment, “To a limited degree, this information is accurate, but there are missing details.”

37. To a certain degree

This phrase is used to indicate that something is partially true or valid, but not completely. It suggests that there are specific conditions or factors that affect the statement being made.

  • For instance, “To a certain degree, I agree with your opinion.”
  • In a conversation about personal preferences, someone might say, “To a certain degree, I enjoy spicy food.”
  • Another person might add, “To a certain degree, this theory is supported by scientific evidence.”

38. Seemingly

This word is used to express that something appears to be true or valid based on initial observations or evidence. It implies that there is a perception or impression of the statement being made.

  • For example, “Seemingly, he is a reliable source of information.”
  • In a discussion about a mysterious event, someone might say, “Seemingly, there is no logical explanation for what happened.”
  • Another person might comment, “Seemingly, this product is popular among consumers based on online reviews.”

39. Allegedly

This word is used to indicate that something is claimed or rumored to be true, but there is doubt or skepticism surrounding the statement. It suggests that the information is not confirmed or proven.

  • For instance, “Allegedly, he stole the money from the company.”
  • In a conversation about a scandal, someone might say, “Allegedly, she had an affair with a famous actor.”
  • Another person might add, “Allegedly, this product can cure any illness, but there is no scientific evidence to support the claim.”

40. Supposedly

This word is used to express that something is assumed or believed to be true, but there is uncertainty or doubt. It implies that the information is based on expectations or assumptions rather than concrete evidence.

  • For example, “Supposedly, the meeting will be held next week.”
  • In a discussion about a controversial topic, someone might say, “Supposedly, this policy will benefit the economy.”
  • Another person might comment, “Supposedly, this diet plan can help you lose weight, but results may vary.”

41. Ostensibly

This word is used to describe something that appears to be true or real, but may not actually be the case. It is often used to express doubt or skepticism.

  • For example, “He ostensibly had good intentions, but his actions told a different story.”
  • In a discussion about politics, someone might say, “The government’s decision was ostensibly to benefit the people, but many question their true motives.”
  • A person might use this word to express uncertainty, saying, “Ostensibly, the event is still happening, but I’m not sure if it will actually take place.”

42. Presumably

This word is used to indicate that something is likely to be true or to happen, based on available information or assumptions. It implies a certain level of uncertainty or speculation.

  • For instance, “She’s presumably the one who left the anonymous note.”
  • In a discussion about a missing person, someone might say, “He was last seen heading in that direction, so presumably, he’s still in the area.”
  • A person might use this word to express an educated guess, saying, “Presumably, the meeting will be held in the conference room, but I’ll double-check.”

43. Tentatively

This word is used to describe something that is not final or definite, but is done or planned for the time being. It indicates a cautious or hesitant approach, often due to uncertainty or a need for further confirmation.

  • For example, “She tentatively agreed to the proposal, pending further discussion.”
  • In a conversation about scheduling, someone might say, “Let’s tentatively plan the meeting for next week, but we’ll confirm the date and time later.”
  • A person might use this word to express hesitation, saying, “I’m tentatively considering the job offer, but I want to learn more about the company first.”

44. Indicatively

This word is used to indicate that something suggests or implies a certain idea or meaning, without directly stating it. It often implies uncertainty or a need for interpretation.

  • For instance, “The tone of his voice indicatively suggested he was not happy with the situation.”
  • In a discussion about body language, someone might say, “Crossing your arms indicatively signals defensiveness or disagreement.”
  • A person might use this word to express a subtle hint, saying, “Indicatively, the answer to the riddle can be found in the first line of the poem.”

45. Indecisive

This word is used to describe someone who has difficulty making decisions or who is unsure about what to do. It implies a lack of confidence or a tendency to waver between options.

  • For example, “She’s always been indecisive, even when it comes to choosing what to wear.”
  • In a conversation about dinner plans, someone might say, “I’m feeling indecisive tonight. Can you choose a restaurant?”
  • A person might use this word to describe their own uncertainty, saying, “I’m feeling indecisive about which movie to watch. Can you help me decide?”

46. Hesitant

When someone is hesitant, they are unsure or uncertain about something and may be reluctant to take action or make a decision.

  • For example, “I’m hesitant to try the new restaurant because I’ve heard mixed reviews.”
  • A person might say, “I’m feeling hesitant about accepting the job offer because I’m not sure if it’s the right fit.”
  • In a discussion about travel plans, someone might express their hesitation by saying, “I’m hesitant to book a flight right now due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.”

47. Doubtful

When someone is doubtful, they have skepticism or lack belief in something. They may have reservations or concerns about the truth or likelihood of a situation.

  • For instance, “I’m doubtful that it will rain tomorrow because the weather forecast has been unreliable.”
  • A person might express their doubt by saying, “I’m doubtful that the politician will fulfill their campaign promises.”
  • In a discussion about a new product, someone might express their doubt by saying, “I’m doubtful that this product will live up to its claims.”

48. Unsure

Being unsure means lacking confidence or being uncertain about something. It can refer to a state of indecision or a lack of clarity.

  • For example, “I’m unsure about which college to attend because I haven’t visited all the campuses yet.”
  • A person might say, “I’m unsure if I should invest in this stock because the market is unpredictable.”
  • In a discussion about future plans, someone might express their uncertainty by saying, “I’m unsure about what career path to choose.”

49. Wavering

When someone is wavering, they are indecisive or fluctuating in their opinions or actions. They may be uncertain and have difficulty making a firm commitment.

  • For instance, “She’s been wavering between two job offers and can’t decide which one to accept.”
  • A person might express their wavering by saying, “I’m wavering on whether to go on the trip because I’m not sure if I can afford it.”
  • In a discussion about a controversial topic, someone might express their wavering by saying, “I’ve been wavering on my stance on this issue because I can see valid arguments on both sides.”

50. Questionable

Something that is questionable is doubtful, suspicious, or open to doubt or debate. It may raise concerns or doubts about its validity or reliability.

  • For example, “The company’s financial practices are questionable and have raised red flags.”
  • A person might say, “The politician’s motives for supporting this legislation are questionable.”
  • In a discussion about a product’s effectiveness, someone might say, “The claims made by this skincare product seem questionable to me.”

51. Ambivalent

When someone is ambivalent, they have mixed feelings or are unsure about a particular situation or decision. It can refer to being torn between two options or having conflicting emotions.

  • For example, “I’m ambivalent about going to the party tonight. On one hand, I want to socialize, but on the other hand, I’m exhausted.”
  • A person might say, “I feel ambivalent about accepting the job offer. The salary is great, but the commute is long.”
  • In a discussion about a controversial topic, someone might express, “I have ambivalent feelings about the issue. There are valid arguments on both sides.”

52. In doubt

When something is in doubt, there is uncertainty or lack of confidence about it. This phrase is often used to express skepticism or hesitation.

  • For instance, “I’m in doubt about his ability to complete the project on time. He has a history of missing deadlines.”
  • A person might say, “I’m in doubt whether I should invest in this company. The market is unpredictable.”
  • In a conversation about a rumor, someone might say, “I’m in doubt about the accuracy of the information. It seems too far-fetched to be true.”

53. In two minds

When someone is in two minds, they are unable to make a decision because they have conflicting thoughts or opinions. It implies being torn between two options.

  • For example, “I’m in two minds about going on vacation. On one hand, I need a break, but on the other hand, I have a lot of work to do.”
  • A person might say, “I’m in two minds whether to buy this dress. It looks great, but it’s a bit expensive.”
  • In a discussion about a career change, someone might express, “I’m in two minds about leaving my current job. I enjoy the work, but the company culture is toxic.”

54. Wishy-washy

When someone is wishy-washy, they are indecisive or lack determination. It often refers to someone who is unable to make up their mind or take a firm stance.

  • For instance, “She gave a wishy-washy response when asked about her opinion on the matter. It was clear she didn’t want to commit.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t like dealing with wishy-washy people. They can never make a decision.”
  • In a discussion about a political leader, someone might criticize, “His wishy-washy approach to important issues is frustrating. We need a leader who can take decisive action.”

55. Hazy

When something is hazy, it is unclear or foggy. It can refer to a lack of clarity or understanding.

  • For example, “My memory of that event is hazy. I can’t recall all the details.”
  • A person might say, “The instructions in the manual are hazy. I’m not sure how to assemble the product.”
  • In a conversation about a future plan, someone might express, “The details are still hazy. We need more information before making a decision.”

56. Taking it slow

This phrase refers to the act of moving or progressing at a deliberate and cautious pace. It implies a desire to take time and fully consider decisions or actions before committing.

  • For example, in a new relationship, someone might say, “Let’s take it slow and see where things go.”
  • When starting a new project, a team might decide, “We should take it slow and thoroughly plan our approach.”
  • In a discussion about career advancement, someone might advise, “Don’t rush into a promotion. Take it slow and make sure it’s the right move for you.”

57. Keeping options open

This phrase describes the act of not committing to a specific choice or decision in order to maintain the freedom to choose from different possibilities. It implies a desire to remain open to various options.

  • For instance, when considering job offers, someone might say, “I’m keeping my options open before I make a decision.”
  • In a discussion about travel plans, someone might explain, “I haven’t booked any flights yet because I want to keep my options open.”
  • When discussing potential romantic partners, a person might say, “I’m not ready to settle down yet. I’m keeping my options open.”
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