verb (used with object), pre·sup·posed, pre·sup·pos·ing.

to suppose or assume beforehand; take for granted in advance.
(of a thing, condition, or state of affairs) to require or imply as an antecedent condition: An effect presupposes a cause.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for presupposition

Historical Examples of presupposition

  • Consciousness is the presupposition for the existence of the psychical objects.


    Hugo Mnsterberg

  • His own will is presupposition for being hypnotized and for realizing the suggestion.


    Hugo Mnsterberg

  • Uniformity of law is the condition and presupposition of all our thinking.

    Practical Ethics

    William DeWitt Hyde

  • This is the presupposition which we must explain and make good.

  • This presupposition is not stated, and is not implied in the form of the syllogism.

British Dictionary definitions for presupposition


verb (tr)

to take for granted; assume
to require or imply as a necessary prior condition
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
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 presupposition

1530s, from Middle French présupposition and directly from Medieval Latin praesuppositionem (nominative praesuppositio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin praesupponere, from prae "before" (see pre-) + suppositio (see suppose).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper