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verb (used with object), pre·sup·posed, pre·sup·pos·ing.
  1. to suppose or assume beforehand; take for granted in advance.
  2. (of a thing, condition, or state of affairs) to require or imply as an antecedent condition: An effect presupposes a cause.
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Origin of presuppose

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Middle French word presupposer. See pre-, suppose
Related formspre·sup·po·si·tion [pree-suhp-uh-zish-uhn] /ˌpri sʌp əˈzɪʃ ən/, nounpre·sup·po·si·tion·less, adjective

Synonyms for presuppose

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for presuppose

posit, infer, assume, believe, suppose, surmise, reckon, speculate

Examples from the Web for presuppose

Historical Examples of presuppose

  • Affinities at least have the grace to presuppose a special sex-attraction.

    Sex=The Unknown Quantity

    Ali Nomad

  • It does not presuppose any promise on the part of the servient owner.

    The Common Law

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  • They presuppose the philosopher's, or the architect's, physical presence.

  • They presuppose membership in it and familiarity with its tradition.

    Lux Mundi


  • This does not presuppose their estates to have been extensive.

British Dictionary definitions for presuppose


verb (tr)
  1. to take for granted; assume
  2. to require or imply as a necessary prior condition
  3. philosophy logic linguistics to require (a condition) to be satisfied as a precondition for a statement to be either true or false or for a speech act to be felicitous. Have you stopped beating your wife? presupposes that the person addressed has a wife and has beaten her
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Derived Formspresupposition (ˌpriːsʌpəˈzɪʃən), noun
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 presuppose


mid-15c., from Old French presupposer (14c.), from Medieval Latin praesupponere; see pre- + suppose. Related: Presupposed; presupposing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper