Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To believe or suppose in advance.
  • transitive v. To require or involve necessarily as an antecedent condition. See Synonyms at presume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To assume some truth without proof, usually for the purpose of reaching a conclusion based on that truth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To suppose beforehand; to imply as antecedent; to take for granted; to assume.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To suppose beforehand; take for granted in advance of actual knowledge or experience.
  • To assume beforehand; require or imply as an antecedent condition; necessitate the prior assumption of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. require as a necessary antecedent or precondition
  • v. take for granted or as a given; suppose beforehand

Etymologies

From Latin prae- "before", and supponere "to suppose". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That said, such calls presuppose that Obama will be included in the "need to know" loop of any hardcore evidence of aliens contact ... and I very much doubt he will.

    Latest Articles

  • You try using new words like "presuppose" to try to get around this, but you just don't understand that you DO NOT have the education to argue in the literary sense of the word.

    CNN.com

  • Mr. I have read tiny bits of college level philosphy and now I use the word "presuppose" to sound learned. please raise up off these N-u-Teez.

    Think Progress

  • Mr. Balkin argued that this Constitutional provision gives the president authority to raise the debt ceiling on his own, even though neither a debt ceiling nor a default calls into question the U.S's financial obligations under law; indeed, both presuppose the validity of the nation's public debt.

    The Debt Deal and the Progressive Crack-Up

  • All of them presuppose an existing interest in literature and in advocating on behalf of literature, but the literary academy as a whole can no longer summon up such interest.

    Literary Study

  • The "autonomy" game does not presuppose itself outside the rules of relativism; it simply solicits recognition as one game among the others.

    Art and Culture

  • For that would appear to presuppose that we were excluding certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case, since it would require that logic should go beyond the limits of the world; for only in that way could it view those limits from the other side as well.

    In the Valley of the Shadow

  • Eager journalists and foreign diplomats, keen to divine the secret thinking of the Bush administration, found themselves poring over sentences such as “I want to avoid the materialist determinism that says that liberal economics inevitably produces liberal politics, because I believe that both economics and politics presuppose an autonomous prior state of consciousness that makes them possible.”

    Zero-Sum Future

  • Today, however, when hundreds of millions of people from diverse cultures claim to have experienced miracles, it seems hardly courteous to presuppose a "uniform" human experience on the subject.

    Craig S. Keener: Miracles In The Bible And Today

  • Believing Jews and Christians both presuppose that God can reveal himself in history and that in fact he has revealed himself as creator of all men and as saviour and redeemer of his chosen people.

    Confessing the Messiah: The Church's Confession of Christ in Jewish-Christian Dialogue - Bishop Müller's Statement Pt. I

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