Definition of presumption in English:


Syllabification: pre·sump·tion
Pronunciation: /priˈzəmpSHən


  • 1An act or instance of taking something to be true or adopting a particular attitude toward something, especially at the start of a chain of argument or action: the presumption of guilt has changed to a presumption of innocence
    More example sentences
    • As the transaction was for valuable consideration, there is no presumption of mala fides.
    • What ever happened to the hoary but irrebuttable common law presumption of legitimacy for children born within marriage?
    • So does it come to this, that the assumption of validity or presumption of validity - whichever expression is preferable - is not determinative?
  • 1.1An idea that is taken to be true, and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain: underlying presumptions about human nature
    More example sentences
    • The notion of escape from the present is ubiquitous in these works, consistent with the presumption underlying the idea of Utopia as a place of retreat from the present world.
    • We will have changed the presumption from the idea that the Internet is not regulated to one that it is regulated.
    • Valerie is blinded by her presumptions to the true answers to any of these questions.
  • 1.2chiefly Law An attitude adopted in law or as a matter of policy toward an action or proposal in the absence of acceptable reasons to the contrary: the planning policy shows a general presumption in favor of development
    More example sentences
    • Such a decision, especially today, requires extraordinarily strong reasons for overriding the presumption in favor of peace and against war.
    • Even in regard to criminal statutes the presumption in favour of strict construction is nowadays rarely applied.
    • There is, therefore, a presumption in favour of the appeal proposal under S54A unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.


Middle English: from Old French presumpcion, from Latin praesumptio(n) 'anticipation', from the verb praesumere (see presume).

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