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tr.v. hy·poth·e·cat·ed, hy·poth·e·cat·ing, hy·poth·e·cates
1. To pledge (property) as security or collateral without delivery of title or possession.
2. Usage Problem To hypothesize.
[Medieval Latin hypothēcāre, hypothēcāt-, from Latin hypothēca, pledge, deposit, from Greek hupothēkē, from hupotithenai, to give as a pledge, suppose; see hypothesis.]
Usage Note: When used to mean "to formulate a hypothesis," hypothecate garners almost no acceptance from the Usage Panel. In our 2009 survey, 90 percent rejected it in the sentence One man hypothecated that the students were joyless because they were no longer curious.