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[pree-suh-pohz] /ˌpri səˈpoʊz/
verb (used with object), presupposed, presupposing.
to suppose or assume beforehand; take for granted in advance.
(of a thing, condition, or state of affairs) to require or imply as an antecedent condition:
An effect presupposes a cause.
Origin of presuppose
late Middle English
First recorded in 1400-50; late Middle English word from Middle French word presupposer. See pre-, suppose
Related forms
[pree-suhp-uh-zish-uh n] /ˌpri sʌp əˈzɪʃ ən/ (Show IPA),
presuppositionless, adjective
1. presume. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for presuppose
Historical Examples
  • Affinities at least have the grace to presuppose a special sex-attraction.

  • It does not presuppose any promise on the part of the servient owner.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • They presuppose the philosopher's, or the architect's, physical presence.

  • They presuppose membership in it and familiarity with its tradition.

    Lux Mundi Various
  • This does not presuppose their estates to have been extensive.

  • Having told you what I presuppose in you, I proceed now to the directions.

  • They presuppose a certain training, both moral and intellectual, in the pupil.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • Each corresponds to the other; they complete and presuppose each other.

    The Way of Initiation Rudolf Steiner
  • Mind, I repeat it, I presuppose nothing but general depression.

    Catharine Furze Mark Rutherford
  • The works of genius are the 'summum' of civilization, and presuppose utility.

    Modeste Mignon Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for presuppose


verb (transitive)
to take for granted; assume
to require or imply as a necessary prior condition
(philosophy, logic, linguistics) to require (a condition) to be satisfied as a precondition for a statement to be either true or false or for a speech act to be felicitous. Have you stopped beating your wife? presupposes that the person addressed has a wife and has beaten her
Derived Forms
presupposition (ˌpriːsʌpəˈzɪʃən) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for presuppose

mid-15c., from Old French presupposer (14c.), from Medieval Latin praesupponere; see pre- + suppose. Related: Presupposed; presupposing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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