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postulate Syllabification: pos·tu·late

Definition of postulate in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈpäsCHəˌlāt/
[with object]
1Suggest or assume the existence, fact, or truth of (something) as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief: his theory postulated a rotatory movement for hurricanes [with clause]: he postulated that the environmentalists might have a case
More example sentences
  • On this basis, we have postulated two scenarios for the future of energy.
  • Another reason for postulating the existence of such superstructures is some evidence of anomalous membrane roughness suggested by studies of membrane adhesion.
  • Considering all such factors, there seems no compelling reason to postulate the existence of a hitherto unknown creature in Lake Champlain.
put forward, suggest, advance, posit, hypothesize, propose;
assume, presuppose, presume, take for granted
2(In ecclesiastical law) nominate or elect (someone) to an ecclesiastical office subject to the sanction of a higher authority.


Pronunciation: /ˈpäsCHələt/
formal Back to top  
1A thing suggested or assumed as true as the basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief: perhaps the postulate of Babylonian influence on Greek astronomy is incorrect
More example sentences
  • On Russell's view, the knowing involved in knowledge of the postulates is a kind of animal knowing, which arises as habitual beliefs from the experience of interaction with the world.
  • The barium-flame-colour generalization is a deductive consequence of the postulates of atomic theory.
  • Nevertheless, Kant accepted the traditional claims of theology, and even tried to resuscitate them under the obscure doctrine of the postulates of practical reason.
1.1 Mathematics An assumption used as a basis for mathematical reasoning.
Example sentences
  • The work of Bolyai and Lobachevsky are comparable in that sense, that they both challenge axiomatic assumptions, but their postulates are of Euclidean geometry.
  • Since Euclid's axiomatic formulation of geometry mathematicians had been trying to prove his fifth postulate as a theorem deduced from the other four axioms.
  • As we saw in Chapter 6, 2-4, the plan to identify each branch of mathematics with a single postulate system failed, at least when it comes to describing deductive mathematical practice.


Late Middle English (sense 2 of the verb): from Latin postulat- 'asked', from the verb postulare.



Pronunciation: /ˌpäsCHəˈlāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • It is populated by overrated and overpaid staff who are only concerned with academic papers, postulations and theories, and attending conferences overseas on taxpayers' money.
  • He spoke softly, instantly thwarting any preconceived postulations of his supposedly dictatorial temperament.
  • Although there are millions of pages of material on the web, it's an uncharted frontier of rumour, speculation, wild theories and baseless postulation.

Words that rhyme with postulate

expostulate • ungulate

Definition of postulate in:

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