Definition of presumption in English:


Syllabification: pre·sump·tion
Pronunciation: /prəˈzəm(p)SH(ə)n


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.
2Behavior perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate: he lifted her off the ground and she was enraged at his presumption
More example sentences
  • I can't convince people there is a God and I really have no desire to, except in moments of arrogant presumption that somehow my knowledge is better than that of others.
  • Which will probably teach me something about arrogance and presumption.
  • It is one thing to seek to excuse Machiavelli's cynicism and cruelty on the grounds that he was a man of his time - a victim as well as an architect of Renaissance arrogance and presumption.


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

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