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[prop-uh-zish-uh n] /ˌprɒp əˈzɪʃ ən/
the act of offering or suggesting something to be considered, accepted, adopted, or done.
a plan or scheme proposed.
an offer of terms for a transaction, as in business.
a thing, matter, or person considered as something to be dealt with or encountered:
Keeping diplomatic channels open is a serious proposition.
anything stated or affirmed for discussion or illustration.
Rhetoric. a statement of the subject of an argument or a discourse, or of the course of action or essential idea to be advocated.
Logic. a statement in which something is affirmed or denied, so that it can therefore be significantly characterized as either true or false.
Mathematics. a formal statement of either a truth to be demonstrated or an operation to be performed; a theorem or a problem.
a proposal of usually illicit sexual relations.
verb (used with object)
to propose sexual relations to.
to propose a plan, deal, etc., to.
Origin of proposition
1300-50; Middle English proposicio(u)n < Latin prōpositiōn- (stem of prōpositiō) a setting forth. See propositus, -ion
Related forms
propositional, adjective
propositionally, adverb
underproposition, noun
Can be confused
preposition, proposition (see usage note at preposition) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for propositions
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All the propositions which he introduced were for the welfare and benefit of the people.

  • But your propositions run out of one ear as they ran in at the other.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • But there is no harmony, he said, in the two propositions that knowledge is recollection, and that the soul is a harmony.

    Phaedo Plato
  • Such are the modes in which propositions and terms may be ambiguous.'

    Euthydemus Plato
  • The propositions were favourably received, and by no less a person than Nauclidas.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • "We are accepting no propositions this week," said Mabel with dignity.

    Sorry: Wrong Dimension Ross Rocklynne
British Dictionary definitions for propositions


a proposal or topic presented for consideration
  1. the content of a sentence that affirms or denies something and is capable of being true or false
  2. the meaning of such a sentence: I am warm always expresses the same proposition whoever the speaker is Compare statement (sense 8)
(maths) a statement or theorem, usually containing its proof
(informal) a person or matter to be dealt with: he's a difficult proposition
an invitation to engage in sexual intercourse
(transitive) to propose a plan, deal, etc, to, esp to engage in sexual intercourse
Derived Forms
propositional, adjective
propositionally, adverb
Word Origin
C14 proposicioun, from Latin prōpositiō a setting forth; see propose
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 propositions



mid-14c., "a setting forth as a topic for discussion," from Old French proposicion "proposal, submission, (philosophical) proposition" (12c.), from Latin propositionem (nominative propositio) "a setting forth, statement, a presentation, representation; fundamental assumption," noun of action from past participle stem of proponere (see propound). Meaning "action of proposing something to be done" is from late 14c. General sense of "matter, problem, undertaking" recorded by 1877. Related: Propositional.



1914, from proposition (n.); specifically of sexual favors from 1936. Related: Propositioned; propositioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for propositions



An invitation or request for sexual favors; pass: He made a rude proposition and got his ears pinned back


To request sexual favors; COME ON TO someone, MAKE A PASS AT someone: He propositioned every woman at the party

[1924+; defined as ''a proposal of marriage'' in a 1908 source]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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