Definition of presumption in English:


Line breaks: pre¦sump|tion
Pronunciation: /prɪˈzʌm(p)ʃ(ə)n


  • 1An idea that is taken to be true on the basis of probability: underlying presumptions about human nature
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    • The notion of escape from the present is ubiquitous in these works, consistent with the presumption underlying the idea of Utopia as a place of retreat from the present world.
    • We will have changed the presumption from the idea that the Internet is not regulated to one that it is regulated.
    • Valerie is blinded by her presumptions to the true answers to any of these questions.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The acceptance of something as true although it is not known for certain: the presumption of innocence
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    • In London a spokesman for the Lord Chancellor's office said family law cases in England and Wales were generally heard in camera, although there was no presumption that they had to be.
    • My own personal presumption is innocence until proven guilty.
    • The presumption that everyone in Brisbane follows the Broncos is nonsense… and the number of Bulldogs fans at Lang Park last Sunday surely confirm that.
  • 1.2chiefly Law An attitude adopted in law or as a matter of policy towards an action or proposal in the absence of acceptable reasons to the contrary: the planning policy shows a general presumption in favour of development
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    • Such a decision, especially today, requires extraordinarily strong reasons for overriding the presumption in favor of peace and against war.
    • Even in regard to criminal statutes the presumption in favour of strict construction is nowadays rarely applied.
    • There is, therefore, a presumption in favour of the appeal proposal under S54A unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.


Middle English: from Old French presumpcion, from Latin praesumptio(n-) 'anticipation', from the verb praesumere (see presume).

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