be (not) supposed to (do something)

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be (not) supposed to (do something)

To be expected to do something. Often used in the negative when one is expected to avoid doing something. I'm supposed to watch my little sister tonight, so I can't go out with you guys. You're not supposed to play with dad's tools when he's not home!
See also: supposed

(not) be supˈposed to (do something)


1 (not) be expected or required to do something by rules, the law, an agreement, etc: She’s supposed to do an hour’s homework every evening.We’re not supposed to be at the party for an hour yet.
2 (used only in negative sentences) be not allowed to do something: You’re not supposed to walk on the grass.
See also: supposed
References in periodicals archive ?
For 12 minutes, we were supposed to be deeply concerned and (I suspect) horrified viewers of concentration camps--and then, presto, we're carefree shoppers wheeling along aisle six in search of coffee cake.
Without any time to ponder whatever it was we were supposed to pretend to learn, it was then, quite naturally, off to our sponsors.