1

Is there a word that has a similar meaning to (potentially) "never-existent"?

For example:

"John claimed that the potentially never-existent journal was 'lost'."

4
  • Not currently existing but existed at some point vs. never have existed at all? Fictitious?
    – Tim
    Dec 12 '16 at 7:52
  • @Diafotismos, I edited the question to prefix potentially to never-exsitent based on the example that you gave. Dec 12 '16 at 8:19
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Is there a verb opposite of "to exist"?
    – deadrat
    Dec 12 '16 at 9:51
  • "Mythical" is often used in such situations. Depends on how much chance there is that the journal ever existed in the first place. ("Alleged" is good if there is a (small) chance that it existed.)
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 12 '16 at 12:35
3

You can use "alleged" to mean "claimed but not proven (to exist)".

"John claimed that the alleged journal was 'lost'."

ODO:

alleged ADJECTIVE

[attributive] Said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality:
‘the alleged conspirators’

‘The British Museum, too, says it knows nothing about any alleged fakes in its displays.’

2
  1. Imaginary: Existing only in the imagination or fancy

Example: He blames the hold-up on an imaginary broker he calls

  1. Illusory:Causing illusion; misleading

Example:In the end, though, the size of the field staff, the number of offices, and the number of early voters might be illusory.

  1. Supposed: Generally assumed or believed to be the case, but not necessarily so.

Example: Vietnam is the supposed site of an ancient temple

  1. Hypothetical: Imagined or suggested.

Example: This is all very hypothetical but supposing Jackie got the job, how would that affect you?

1

This question is similar to A word to describe an incident or event that may or may not have taken place.

My answer, at least, is the same:

purported - said to be true or real but not definitely true or real

(From Merriam-Webster)

If you were to say, "purported journal," the connotation would be that you are quite skeptical.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.