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Origin of assuming

First recorded in 1595–1605; assume + -ing2
Related formsas·sum·ing·ly, adverbself-as·sum·ing, adjective


verb (used with object), as·sumed, as·sum·ing.
  1. to take for granted or without proof: to assume that everyone wants peace.
  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.

Origin of assume

1400–50; late Middle English (< Anglo-French assumer) < Latin assūmere to take to, adopt, equivalent to as- as- + sūmere to take up; see consume
Related formsas·sum·er, nouno·ver·as·sume, verb (used with object), o·ver·as·sumed, o·ver·as·sum·ing.pre·as·sume, verb (used with object), pre·as·sumed, pre·as·sum··as·sume, verb (used with object), re·as·sumed, re·as·sum·ing.

Synonym study

6. assume, Pretend, affect, feign imply an attempt to create a false appearance. To assume is to take on or put on a specific outward appearance, often (but not always) with intent to deceive: to assume an air of indifference. To pretend is to create an imaginary characteristic or to play a part: to pretend sorrow. To affect is to make a consciously artificial show of having qualities that one thinks would look well and impress others: to affect shyness. To feign implies using ingenuity in pretense, and some degree of imitation of appearance or characteristics: to feign surprise. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for assuming

Contemporary Examples of assuming

Historical Examples of assuming

British Dictionary definitions for assuming


  1. expecting too much; presumptuous; arrogant
  1. (often foll by that) if it is assumed or taken for granted (that)even assuming he understands the problem, he will never take any action


verb (tr)
  1. (may take a clause as object) to take for granted; accept without proof; supposeto 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; feignhe assumed indifference, although the news affected him deeply
  4. to take or put on; adoptthe problem assumed gigantic proportions
  5. to appropriate or usurp (power, control, etc); arrogatethe revolutionaries assumed control of the city
  6. Christianity (of God) to take up (the soul of a believer) into heaven
Derived Formsassumable, adjectiveassumer, noun

Word Origin for assume

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

Word Origin and History for assuming



early 15c., assumpten "to receive up into heaven" (especially of the Virgin Mary), also assumen "to arrogate," from Latin assumere "to take up, take to oneself," from ad- "to, up" (see ad-) + sumere "to take," from sub "under" + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)).

Meaning "to suppose, to take for granted as the basis of argument" is first recorded 1590s; that of "to take or put on (an appearance, etc.)" is from c.1600. Related: Assumed; assuming. Early past participle was assumpt. In rhetorical usage, assume expresses what the assumer postulates, often as a confessed hypothesis; presume expresses what the presumer really believes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper