In any proposition, i.e., any statement which must be true or false, let some parts be struck out so that the remnant is not a proposition, but is such that it becomes a proposition when each blank is filled by a proper name. The erasures are not to be made in a mechanical way, but with such modifications as may be necessary to preserve the partial sense of the fragment. Such a residue is a predicate. The same proposition may be mutilated in various ways so that different fragments will appear as predicates.
That which remains of a Proposition after removal of its Subject is a Term (a rhema) called its Predicate.
Let a heavy dot or dash be used in place of a noun which has been erased from a proposition. A blank form of proposition produced by such erasures as can be filled, each with a proper name, to make a proposition again, is called a rhema, or, relatively to the proposition of which it is conceived to be a part, the predicate of that proposition.
If a sign, B, only signifies characters that are elements (or the whole) of the meaning of another sign, A, then B is said to be a predicate (or essential part) of A.
An ordinary Proposition ingeniously contrives to convey novel information through Signs whose significance depends entirely on the interpreter’s familiarity with them; and this it does by means of a “Predicate,” i.e., a term explicitly indefinite in breadth, and defining its breadth by means of “Subjects,” or terms whose breadths are somewhat definite, but whose informative depth (i.e., all the depth except an essential superficies) is indefinite, while conversely the depth of the Subjects is in a measure defined by the Predicate. A Predicate is either non-relative, or a monad, that is, is explicitly indefinite in one extensive respect, as is “black”; or it is a dyadic relative, or dyad, such as “kills,” or it is a polyadic relative, such as “gives.”
When a blank form is such that the result of determining each blank in it to express a proper name is to reconvert it into a proposition, however silly, that blank form is termed a rheme or predicate.
A predicate may be described as a blank form of proposition from which when each blank has been filled with a proper name, a proposition, or assertion, however nonsensical, will result.