Definition of suppose in English:


Line breaks: sup|pose
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.
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.


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'.


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.



More example sentences
  • We went on separate sides of the room and wrote down the supposable secret.

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