Definition of proposition in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌpräpəˈziSH(ə)n/


1A statement or assertion that expresses a judgment or opinion: the proposition that all men are created equal
More example sentences
  • There is authority for the proposition that a wrong opinion is both unreasonable and capable of constituting a flagrant impropriety.
  • On my view, to believe something is to hold a proposition in your mind assertively.
  • Now, you know, in my opinion, it's an absurd proposition.
theory, hypothesis, thesis, argument, premise, principle, theorem, concept, idea, statement
1.1 Logic A statement that expresses a concept that can be true or false.
Example sentences
  • We have to use the theory of probability when we do not know whether a proposition is true or false.
  • Mathematical formulas and sentences do not express true or false propositions about any subject-matter.
  • There is a very important distinction between propositions that are true and propositions that are false.
1.2 Mathematics A formal statement of a theorem or problem, typically including the demonstration.
Example sentences
  • In 1934 Gödel gave a series of lectures at Princeton entitled On undecidable propositions of formal mathematical systems.
  • For example, Spinoza's Ethics has the same format as Euclid's Elements, containing propositions and demonstrations.
  • Book One discusses his laws of motion then proceeds to a series of propositions, theorems and problems.
2A suggested scheme or plan of action, especially in a business context: a detailed investment proposition
More example sentences
  • If you are coming to it fresh, take in your proposition and the business plan, and take it from there.
  • She also approaches businesses with propositions for aid in all forms.
  • Investing in a club should not be viewed as a business proposition, merely an emotional investment.
proposal, scheme, plan, project, idea, program, bid
2.1US (In the US) a constitutional proposal; a bill.
Example sentences
  • The propositions garnered majority support in every county in the state with the exception of San Francisco and four counties in rural Northern California.
  • Even if one considered this legislation a reasonable proposition, which the Government proclaims and National supports, the reality is that it is only a small step.
  • At the select committee a proposition was put to the submitters, which were all the territorial local authorities in the Auckland region - all eight of them.
2.2 informal An offer of sexual intercourse made to a person with whom one is not sexually involved, especially one that is made in an unsubtle or offensive way.
Example sentences
  • James watched her leave and thought over the proposition Veronica had offered to him.
  • It suddenly occurred to her why Kyle had offered the proposition in the first place.
  • Two pages of the book deal with a sexual proposition, including hints at oral sex.
3 [with adjective] A project, task, or idea considered in terms of its likely success or difficulty, especially in a commercial context: a paper that has lost half its readers is unlikely to be an attractive proposition
More example sentences
  • Investments that rely on the misfortune of others or the good will of sharks are a losing proposition in the long term, whatever the quarterly earnings report says.
  • Ultimately, that's a losing proposition in the long term.
  • His most recent deal is designed to make the combined company a more attractive proposition for investors in terms of size and product offering.
task, job, undertaking, venture, activity, affair, problem
3.1A person considered in terms of the likely success or difficulty of one’s dealings with them: as a potential manager, Sandy is a better proposition than Dave


[with object] informal
1Make a suggestion of sexual intercourse to (someone with whom one is not sexually involved), especially in an unsubtle or offensive way: she had been propositioned at the party by an accountant
More example sentences
  • The five are charged with propositioning men and then pretending to be police officers, handcuffing the men, and then robbing them.
  • In the one reported staff incident, a male officer subtly propositioned the woman.
  • Then, he commenced to begin propositioning a whore in a profane courtship that last an hour or so until Rupert dragged him out.
propose sex with, make sexual advances to, make an indecent proposal to, make an improper suggestion to
informal hit on
1.1Make an offer or suggestion to (someone): I was propositioned by the editor about becoming film critic of the paper
More example sentences
  • As a publisher, it propositions me all the time to buy names.



Pronunciation: /ˌpräpəˈziSH(ə)nl/
(chiefly Logic )
Example sentences
  • But some events do cause other events in virtue of their propositional content.
  • There is a tendency here to use statements not as propositional truths, but as bargaining positions.
  • To claim a belief is properly basic means that it is not based either on propositional evidence or on another belief.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin propositio(n-), from the verb proponere (see propound). The verb dates from the 1920s.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: prop·o·si·tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.