[verb pos-chuh-leyt; noun pos-chuh-lit, -leyt]
See more synonyms for postulate on
verb (used with object), pos·tu·lat·ed, pos·tu·lat·ing.
  1. to ask, demand, or claim.
  2. to claim or assume the existence or truth of, especially as a basis for reasoning or arguing.
  3. to assume without proof, or as self-evident; take for granted.
  4. Mathematics, Logic. to assume as a postulate.
  1. something taken as self-evident or assumed without proof as a basis for reasoning.
  2. Mathematics, Logic. a proposition that requires no proof, being self-evident, or that is for a specific purpose assumed true, and that is used in the proof of other propositions; axiom.
  3. a fundamental principle.
  4. a necessary condition; prerequisite.

Origin of postulate

1525–35; < Latin postulātum petition, thing requested, noun use of neuter of past participle of postulāre to request, demand, akin to pōscere to request
Related formspos·tu·la·tion, nounpos·tu·la·tion·al, adjectivere·pos·tu·late, verb (used with object), re·pos·tu·lat·ed, re·pos·tu·lat··pos·tu·late, nounre·pos·tu·la·tion, nounun·pos·tu·lat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for postulate

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for postulating

Historical Examples of postulating

  • I am not alone, then, in postulating the reality of the group mind.

    The Group Mind

    William McDougall

  • In short, every identity we reason from is made by our postulating an irrelevance of differences.


    D.L. Murray

  • "It is interesting to watch them," he replied, postulating her mood.

  • This, it would seem, reduces considerably the need for postulating modern influence so far as the method is concerned.

  • But, in the task of postulating without authority from Nature, it seems impossible to stop short.

British Dictionary definitions for postulating


verb (ˈpɒstjʊˌleɪt) (tr; may take a clause as object)
  1. to assume to be true or existent; take for granted
  2. to ask, demand, or claim
  3. to nominate (a person) to a post or office subject to approval by a higher authority
noun (ˈpɒstjʊlɪt)
  1. something taken as self-evident or assumed as the basis of an argument
  2. a necessary condition or prerequisite
  3. a fundamental principle
  4. logic maths an unproved and indemonstrable statement that should be taken for granted: used as an initial premise or underlying hypothesis in a process of reasoning
Derived Formspostulation, noun

Word Origin for postulate

C16: from Latin postulāre to ask for, require; related to pōscere to request
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 postulating



1530s, "nominate to a church office," from Medieval Latin postulatus, past participle of postulare "to ask, demand; claim; require," probably formed from past participle of Latin poscere "ask urgently, demand," from *posk-to-, Italic inchoative of PIE root *prek- "to ask questions" (cf. Sanskrit prcchati, Avestan peresaiti "interrogates," Old High German forskon, German forschen "to search, inquire"). Use in logic dates from 1640s, borrowed from Medieval Latin.



1580s, "a request, demand," from Latin postulatum "demand, request," properly "that which is requested," noun use of neuter past participle of postulare (see postulate (v.)). The sense in logic of "self-evident proposition" is from 1640s. The earlier noun in English was postulation (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

postulating in Medicine


  1. To assume or assert the truth or necessity of, especially as a basis of an argument.
  1. An unproved assertion or assumption, especially a statement offered as the basis of a theory.
Related formspos′tu•lation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

postulating in Science


  1. See axiom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

postulating in Culture


A statement accepted as true for the purposes of argument or scientific investigation; also, a basic principle. (See axiom.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.