Definition of presupposition in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpriːsʌpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/


1A thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action: both men shared certain ethical presuppositions about the universe
More example sentences
  • Discourse ethics has an a priori foundation: the presuppositions of discourse or argument.
  • The argument explores, therefore, the presuppositions of this self-consciousness.
  • First, often the very questions which challenge the presuppositions of a given problem are those which on their face seem most naïve.
1.1 [mass noun] The action or state of presupposing or being presupposed.
Example sentences
  • Notice that the therapist did not explain or justify this presupposition in a preamble but simply embedded it in the question.
  • He has tutored Catherine in a form of intertextual ‘reading’ by analogy that forces likeness through automatic and inappropriate presupposition.
  • Using Clendinnen's private lives to preface this very public one is a tactic meant to stay the hand of presupposition and the stereotypes it holds.


Mid 16th century: from medieval Latin praesuppositio(n-), from the verb praesupponere (see presuppose).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|sup¦pos|ition

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