Definition of presumption in English:

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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.
assumption, supposition, presupposition, belief, guess, judgment, surmise, conjecture, speculation, hypothesis, postulation, inference, deduction, conclusion
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.
brazenness, audacity, boldness, audaciousness, temerity, arrogance, presumptuousness, forwardness;
cockiness, insolence, impudence, bumptiousness, impertinence, effrontery, cheek, cheekiness;
rudeness, impoliteness, disrespect, familiarity
informal nerve, chutzpah, sass, sassiness
archaic assumption


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

Words that rhyme with presumption

assumption, consumption, gumption, overconsumption

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pre·sump·tion

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