Definition of premise in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɛmɪs/
1 (British also premiss) Logic A previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion: if the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true
More example sentences
  • A valid inference is one where the conclusion follows from the premiss.
  • More formally, the conclusion of a deduction follows necessarily from the premisses.
  • Such propositions appear only as premises, never as conclusions.
1.1An assertion or proposition which forms the basis for a work or theory: the fundamental premise of the report
More example sentences
  • It is the fundamental premise of the theory of evolution.
  • The fundamental premise of the report is that violence is both predictable and preventable.
  • The central premise of the theory is that disorder operates on honest people and on the disorderly in different ways.


Pronunciation: /prɪˈmʌɪz/
[with object] (premise something on/upon)
1Base an argument, theory, or undertaking on: the reforms were premised on our findings
More example sentences
  • At the beginning of his Memorial, the writer premises his argument on religious values.
  • The problem is that the argument is premised on a falsehood.
  • But he cannot invoke this common-sense reason for setting aside history, for his entire theory is premised on the idea that justice is a matter of ‘history’ not ‘end states’.
1.1State or presuppose (something) as a premise: [with clause]: one school of thought premised that the cosmos is indestructible
More example sentences
  • Which is to say that on these premises it makes no sense to attribute consciousness to another human being at all.
  • In his concluding remarks, he rather defensively explains: ‘This book was always premised to be about my country, not about the Balkans or any other foreign country.’
  • In several obvious ways, the way John represented his interest premises the idea that fans are consumerists.
postulate, hypothesize, conjecture, posit, theorize, suppose, presuppose, surmise, assume, predicate, argue, state, assert
1.2 archaic State by way of introduction: I will premise generally that I hate lecturing


Late Middle English: from Old French premisse, from medieval Latin praemissa (propositio) '(proposition) set in front', from Latin praemittere, from prae 'before' + mittere 'send'.

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