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  1. the act of presuming.
  2. assumption of something as true.
  3. belief on reasonable grounds or probable evidence.
  4. something that is presumed; an assumption.
  5. a ground or reason for presuming or believing.
  6. Law. an inference required or permitted by law as to the existence of one fact from proof of the existence of other facts.
  7. an assumption, often not fully established, that is taken for granted in some piece of reasoning.
  8. unwarrantable, unbecoming, or impertinent boldness.

Origin of presumption

1175–1225; Middle English: effrontery, supposition < Latin praesūmptiōn- (stem of praesūmptiō) anticipation, supposition, Late Latin: presumptuousness, equivalent to praesūmpt(us) (past participle of praesūmere to undertake beforehand; see presume) + -iōn- -ion
Related formso·ver·pre·sump·tion, noun
Can be confusedassumption axiom premise presumption

Synonyms for presumption

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for presumption


  1. the act of presuming
  2. bold or insolent behaviour or manners
  3. a belief or assumption based on reasonable evidence
  4. a ground or basis on which to presume
  5. law an inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved, admitted, or judicially noticed

Word Origin for presumption

C13: via Old French from Latin praesumptiō a using in advance, anticipation, from praesūmere to take beforehand; see presume
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 presumption

mid-13c., "seizure and occupation without right," also "taking upon oneself more than is warranted," from Old French presumcion (12c., Modern French présomption) and directly from Late Latin praesumptionem (nominative praesumptio) "confidence, audacity," in classical Latin, "a taking for granted, anticipation," noun of action from past participle stem of praesumere "to take beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sumere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). In English, the meaning "the taking of something for granted" is attested from c.1300. Presumptuous preserves the older sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper