View synonyms for assume


[ uh-soom ]

verb (used with object)

, as·sumed, as·sum·ing.
  1. to take for granted or without proof:

    to assume that everyone wants peace.

    Synonyms: presuppose, posit, postulate, suppose

  2. to take upon oneself; undertake:

    to assume an obligation.

  3. to take over the duties or responsibilities of:

    to assume the office of treasurer.

  4. to take on (a particular character, quality, mode of life, etc.); adopt:

    He assumed the style of an aggressive go-getter.

  5. to take on; be invested or endowed with:

    The situation assumed a threatening character.

  6. to pretend to have or be; feign:

    to assume a humble manner.

  7. to appropriate or arrogate; seize; usurp:

    to assume a right to oneself; to assume control.

  8. to take upon oneself (the debts or obligations of another).
  9. Archaic. to take into relation or association; adopt.

verb (used without object)

, as·sumed, as·sum·ing.
  1. to take something for granted; presume.


/ əˈsjuːm /


  1. may take a clause as object to take for granted; accept without proof; suppose

    to assume that someone is sane

  2. to take upon oneself; undertake or take on or over (a position, responsibility, etc)

    to assume office

  3. to pretend to; feign

    he assumed indifference, although the news affected him deeply

  4. to take or put on; adopt

    the problem assumed gigantic proportions

  5. to appropriate or usurp (power, control, etc); arrogate

    the revolutionaries assumed control of the city

  6. Christianity (of God) to take up (the soul of a believer) into heaven

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Derived Forms

  • asˈsumer, noun
  • asˈsumable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • as·sumer noun
  • over·as·sume verb (used with object) overassumed overassuming
  • preas·sume verb (used with object) preassumed preassuming
  • reas·sume verb (used with object) reassumed reassuming

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Word History and Origins

Origin of assume1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English (from Anglo-French assumer ), from Latin assūmere “to take to, adopt,” equivalent to as- “toward” + sūmere “to take up”; as-, consume

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Word History and Origins

Origin of assume1

C15: from Latin assūmere to take up, from sūmere to take up, from sub- + emere to take

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Synonym Study

See pretend.

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Example Sentences

Bishop Garrison, assuming a newly created role, will directly advise Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on diversity and inclusion issues.

From Vox

Covington, who began disparaging Usman months before their fight, assumed a more vitriolic tone than Woodley, provoking several confrontations including one in the Palms Casino Resort buffet line the day after Usman defeated Woodley.

Since you assume your benefits are on hold, and you know nothing about the scammer's lies and schemes to steal your identity, you're unaware that your payments are being illegally sent to the scammers.

According to the authors, it's generally been assumed that whichever creature inflicts the most damage wins the fight.

A parent will always assume that it is their child’s friend who suggested doing the prohibited thing, not their beloved progeny.

When our elected representatives assume their respective offices, they take an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution.”

Nor should we ever assume that weather alone, however extreme, should be fatal to a commercial flight.

Campaigns like assume that LGBT people are an interest group with only one interest: their own.

It occurs to me that Mount must assume that Hitchcock has read it--after all, it came from him.

Now that I am free, I have Medicaid and doctors no longer assume I am malingering.

Many adults assume that a child can look at a landscape as they look at it, taking in the whole picturesque effect.

It will be found that as a whole they assume a flat position, and are very easily handled.

He was told that a son must not play in his father's presence, nor assume free or easy posture before him.

When people argue in this strain, I immediately assume the offensive.

We may fairly assume the presence here of one or two, if not more, assistants, besides a pupil or improver.


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Assume vs. Presume

What's the difference between assume and presume?

Assume and presume have very similar meanings—they both mean to suppose that something is true without being able to confirm it. Assume, however, usually implies that the conclusion reached by the person doing the assuming is not based on much. Presume, on the other hand, often implies that the conclusion is based on something a bit stronger, such as some evidence or past situations in which the same thing happened.

For example, you might presume that someone will be attending a meeting because they always attend and you have no reason to think they won’t be there. The word assume could also be used in this scenario, but it’s most likely to be used in situations in which there was less of a reason to have come to a certain conclusion. For example, you might assume something about someone you’ve just met based only on how they look (which is never a good idea).

A good way to remember this difference in how the two words are used is that the prefix pre- in presume means “before”—when you presume things, you’re often basing that presumption on something that has happened before. As for assume, well, we’ll just assume you know a good way of remembering how it’s used.

Assume and presume also have a few meanings that don’t overlap. Assume can mean to take on, adopt, or be endowed with something, as in I don’t want to assume any new responsibilities. Presume can mean to undertake or do something without permission or justification, as in I don’t presume to speak for the entire class.

Here are examples of assume and presume used correctly in a sentence.

Example: I assumed you knew what you were doing when you volunteered to bake the cake, but apparently I shouldn’t have.

Example: I presumed, based on your resume, that you knew how to work with this software.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between assume and presume.

Quiz yourself on assume vs. presume!

Is assume or presume the better choice in the following sentence?

We don’t know anything, so we shouldn’t _____ anything.