Definition of presume in English:

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Pronunciation: /prɪˈzjuːm/


1 [with clause] Suppose that something is the case on the basis of probability: I presumed that the man had been escorted from the building [with object and complement]: two of the journalists went missing and are presumed dead
More example sentences
  • He also said the missing American is presumed dead.
  • His father had died many years previously, and although he never spoke of his mother, I presumed that she was dead too.
  • Anyway, even if my client gets the information to me a month before the trial, I don't think I'm supposed to presume my client is lying.
assume, suppose, dare say, imagine, take it, expect, believe, think, surmise, guess, judge, trust, conjecture, speculate, postulate, posit, hypothesize, deduce, divine, infer, conclude, presuppose, take for granted, take as read
1.1Take for granted that something exists or is the case: the argument presumes that only one person can do the work
More example sentences
  • Federalism presumes that states exist within a larger nation.
  • Secondly, this argument presumes that the only two possibilities are that he's telling the truth or he's lying, and those are not the only two possibilities.
  • The argument presumes that there are large numbers of qualified Xs out there who, absent discrimination, would be proportionally represented in the challenged field.
2 [no object, with infinitive] Be arrogant or impertinent enough to do something: kindly don’t presume to issue me orders in my own house
More example sentences
  • We do not presume to be important enough to have our own city.
  • The suggestion that it is arrogant to presume to make such decisions is false in at least some cases, including those where the disability is disastrous.
  • Don't presume to know enough about their culture to be able to say ‘oh, it's so wonderful, don't change’.
venture, dare, have the temerity, have the audacity, have the effrontery, be so bold as, make so bold as, go so far as;
take the liberty of
2.1 [no object] Make unjustified demands; take liberties: forgive me if I have presumed
2.2 [no object] (presume on/upon) Unjustifiably regard (something) as entitling one to privileges: he was wary of presuming on the close friendship between them
More example sentences
  • Without presuming on, but nevertheless hoping for, forgiveness, you can petition the Almighty through this lesser ceremony and thereby summon the support and endorsement of your community.
  • Before the day few thought that on 3 June a million or two groupies would throng the Mall to watch a bunch of clapped-out old-stagers presuming on the public's indulgence for one last hurrah.
  • It's for the British people to decide and I don't presume on their judgment.
take advantage of, take unfair advantage of, exploit, take liberties with;
rely on, depend on, count on, bank on, reckon on, place reliance on, trust



Pronunciation: /prɪˈzjuːməb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The strange game of guesswork with the press was designed to achieve that end, and that being so named was ‘one presumable cause for his suicide.’
  • It is also presumable that the broad definition cuts two ways, and ‘a request to the organisation not to receive direct marketing communications’ will be required to be honoured throughout large corporate webs.
  • But the prosecution has never questioned him in spite of his presumable violation of the law.




Late Middle English: from Old French presumer, from Latin praesumere 'anticipate' (in late Latin 'take for granted'), from prae 'before' + sumere 'take'.

  • assume from Late Middle English:

    The word comes from Latin assumere formed from ad ‘towards’ and sumere ‘take, take up’. Sumere also gives us, from the same period consume ‘take up together’; presume ‘take before’ hence ‘take for granted’; and resume ‘take back’.

Words that rhyme with presume

abloom, assume, backroom, bloom, Blum, boom, broom, brume, combe, consume, doom, entomb, exhume, flume, foredoom, fume, gloom, Hume, illume, inhume, Khartoum, khoum, loom, neume, perfume, plume, resume, rheum, room, spume, subsume, tomb, vroom, whom, womb, zoom

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|sume

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