Definition of suppose in English:

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Pronunciation: /səˈpəʊz/


1 [with clause] Think or assume that something is true or probable but lack proof or certain knowledge: I suppose I got there about noon [with object]: he supposed the girl to be about twelve
More example sentences
  • You could make arguments on this basis, I suppose, on either side.
  • I'm shocked that it has come to this but I suppose the evidence has been there for a long time that this day would come.
  • I suppose she assumed I would bust into tears again at any moment.
assume, dare say, take for granted, take as read, presume, expect, take it;
believe, think, fancy, be of the opinion, suspect, have a sneaking suspicion, sense, trust;
guess, surmise, reckon, conjecture, theorize, deduce, infer, gather, glean, divine
formal opine
apparent, seeming, alleged, putative, reputed, rumoured, claimed, purported, ostensible, specious;
professed, declared, believed, assumed, presumed;
French soi-disant
1.1Used to make a suggestion or a hesitant admission: [in imperative]: suppose we leave this to the police I’m quite a good actress, I suppose
More example sentences
  • If I were a real die-hard, there'd be no hesitation, I suppose; I don't love any popular icon that much.
  • I suppose I better leave it here tonight and let sleep work on it.
  • I suppose in a way it's easier for women than for men.
hypothesize, postulate, theorize, posit, speculate, (let's) say, assume, imagine
1.2Used to introduce a hypothesis and imagine its development: suppose he had been murdered—what then?
More example sentences
  • Suppose that adoption has never previously been practised in our society, and suppose that someone proposes introducing it.
  • To take a hypothetical case, suppose that, on day one, an unlawful trading activity starts which is not disclosed or prevented as a result of the defendant's negligence.
  • Finally, suppose that we hypothesize that there are races, and that the correct racial classification has a certain form.
1.3(Of a theory or argument) assume or require that something is the case as a precondition: the procedure supposes that a will has already been proved [with object]: the theory supposes a predisposition to interpret utterances
More example sentences
  • The theory supposes that, while different people can possess some different beliefs about race, they share certain criterial beliefs and these serve to define the concept.
  • Rational-actor theory supposes that we make decisions by calm, essentially mathematical calculation of our own self-interest.
  • Presentism and the growing-past theories must suppose that this event is both real and unreal because it's real for A but not real for B.
require, presuppose, imply, assume;
call for, need
2 (be supposed to do something) Be required to do something because of the position one is in or an agreement one has made: I’m supposed to be meeting someone at the airport
More example sentences
  • I thought these sessions were supposed to have a positive effect, if anything.
  • Shawn pulled up to the abandoned building where the gang meeting was supposed to be.
  • The consulting contract is supposed to reflect a meeting of the minds between the parties.
meant, intended, expected;
ought, required, obliged
2.1 [with negative] Be forbidden to do something: I shouldn’t have been in the study—I’m not supposed to go in there
More example sentences
  • In iconography and metaphor, women figured as symbols of knowledge, or as the object of knowledge, but in practical terms, they were not supposed to conduct scientific investigation themselves.
  • We saw glimpses of this in the 1980s with the invention of the fax machine, which more or less removed the mass media's ability to bury a story that the people were not supposed to know about.
  • Women were not supposed to work outside the home.


I suppose so

Used to express hesitant agreement: ‘You see I have to do this?’ ‘I suppose so.’
More example sentences
  • ‘Um, I suppose so,’ he answers, a bit uncertain.
  • ‘I'd never really thought about it that way,’ said Brother Daniel, ‘but I suppose so, yes.’
  • Um, I suppose so, though I haven't made any plans.



Pronunciation: /səˈpəʊzəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • We went on separate sides of the room and wrote down the supposable secret.


Middle English: from Old French supposer, from Latin supponere (from sub- 'from below' + ponere 'to place'), but influenced by Latin suppositus 'set under' and Old French poser 'to place'.

  • compost from Late Middle English:

    Garden compost and fruit compôte do not seem to have much in common, but they both derive from French compôte ‘stewed fruit’. This comes from Old French composte, from Latin compositum ‘something put together’—source of compose (Late Middle English) and decompose (mid 18th century), composition (Late Middle English), and component (mid 17th century). Compost has been used in the gardening sense since the late 16th century. The Latin word was formed from com- ‘with’ and the irregular verb ponere ‘put, place’. From this we also get impose (Late Middle English) ‘place (up)on’; oppose (Late Middle English) ‘place against’; positive and posture (late 16th century); preposition (Late Middle English) something put in front, and suppose (Middle English) literally something placed from below.

Words that rhyme with suppose

appose, arose, Bose, brose, chose, close, compose, diagnose, self-diagnose, doze, enclose, expose, foreclose, froze, hose, impose, interpose, juxtapose, Montrose, noes, nose, oppose, plainclothes, pose, propose, prose, rose, those, transpose, underexpose, uprose

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sup|pose

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