[ prem-is ]
See synonyms for: premisepremisedpremises on

  1. Also premiss. Logic. a proposition supporting or helping to support a conclusion.

  2. premises,

    • a tract of land including its buildings.

    • a building together with its grounds or other appurtenances.

    • the property forming the subject of a conveyance or bequest.

  1. Law.

    • a basis, stated or assumed, on which reasoning proceeds.

    • an earlier statement in a document.

    • (in a bill in equity) the statement of facts upon which the complaint is based.

verb (used with object),prem·ised, prem·is·ing.
  1. to set forth beforehand, as by way of introduction or explanation.

  2. to assume, either explicitly or implicitly, (a proposition) as a premise for a conclusion.

verb (used without object),prem·ised, prem·is·ing.
  1. to state or assume a premise.

Origin of premise

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English premiss, from Medieval Latin praemissa, noun use of feminine of Latin praemissus, past participle of praemittere “to send before,” equivalent to prae- “before, in front, ahead,” + mittere “to send”; see pre-

word story For premise

The noun premise (also spelled premiss ) entered English in the late 14th century, originally as a term used in logic to mean “each of the two propositions in a syllogism from which the conclusion is drawn,” ultimately from the Latin phrase prōpositiō praemissa “proposition (in a syllogism) set forth beforehand.” Praemissa in this sense is a feminine singular adjective modifying the feminine singular noun prōpositiō. Praemissa is also a neuter plural past participle used as a noun meaning “matters discussed or mentioned previously” in legal documents, contracts, and wills.
By the second half of the 15th century, premiss acquired the further meaning “houses, buildings and lands previously specified in a deed,” as on a sign prominently displayed above a bar “Licensed to retail beer, wine, spirits, and tobacco to be consumed on the premises.”

Other words for premise

Other words from premise

  • re·prem·ise, verb, re·prem·ised, re·prem·is·ing.

Words that may be confused with premise Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use premise in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for premise


  1. Also: premiss logic a statement that is assumed to be true for the purpose of an argument from which a conclusion is drawn

verb(prɪˈmaɪz, ˈprɛmɪs)
  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to state or assume (a proposition) as a premise in an argument, theory, etc

Origin of premise

C14: from Old French prémisse, from Medieval Latin praemissa sent on before, from Latin praemittere to dispatch in advance, from prae before + mittere to send

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