[prop-uh-zish-uh n]
See more synonyms for proposition on
  1. the act of offering or suggesting something to be considered, accepted, adopted, or done.
  2. a plan or scheme proposed.
  3. an offer of terms for a transaction, as in business.
  4. a thing, matter, or person considered as something to be dealt with or encountered: Keeping diplomatic channels open is a serious proposition.
  5. anything stated or affirmed for discussion or illustration.
  6. Rhetoric. a statement of the subject of an argument or a discourse, or of the course of action or essential idea to be advocated.
  7. Logic. a statement in which something is affirmed or denied, so that it can therefore be significantly characterized as either true or false.
  8. Mathematics. a formal statement of either a truth to be demonstrated or an operation to be performed; a theorem or a problem.
  9. a proposal of usually illicit sexual relations.
verb (used with object)
  1. to propose sexual relations to.
  2. to propose a plan, deal, etc., to.

Origin of proposition

1300–50; Middle English proposicio(u)n < Latin prōpositiōn- (stem of prōpositiō) a setting forth. See propositus, -ion
Related formsprop·o·si·tion·al, adjectiveprop·o·si·tion·al·ly, adverbun·der·prop·o·si·tion, noun
Can be confusedpreposition proposition (see usage note at preposition1)

Synonyms for proposition

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

Examples from the Web for propositions

Contemporary Examples of propositions

Historical Examples of propositions

  • All the propositions which he introduced were for the welfare and benefit of the people.

  • But your propositions run out of one ear as they ran in at the other.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • But there is no harmony, he said, in the two propositions that knowledge is recollection, and that the soul is a harmony.



  • Such are the modes in which propositions and terms may be ambiguous.'

  • The propositions were favourably received, and by no less a person than Nauclidas.



British Dictionary definitions for propositions


  1. a proposal or topic presented for consideration
  2. philosophy
    1. the content of a sentence that affirms or denies something and is capable of being true or false
    2. the meaning of such a sentence: I am warm always expresses the same proposition whoever the speaker isCompare statement (def. 8)
  3. maths a statement or theorem, usually containing its proof
  4. informal a person or matter to be dealt withhe's a difficult proposition
  5. an invitation to engage in sexual intercourse
  1. (tr) to propose a plan, deal, etc, to, esp to engage in sexual intercourse
Derived Formspropositional, adjectivepropositionally, adverb

Word Origin for proposition

C14 proposicioun, from Latin prōpositiō a setting forth; see propose
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 propositions



mid-14c., "a setting forth as a topic for discussion," from Old French proposicion "proposal, submission, (philosophical) proposition" (12c.), from Latin propositionem (nominative propositio) "a setting forth, statement, a presentation, representation; fundamental assumption," noun of action from past participle stem of proponere (see propound). Meaning "action of proposing something to be done" is from late 14c. General sense of "matter, problem, undertaking" recorded by 1877. Related: Propositional.



1914, from proposition (n.); specifically of sexual favors from 1936. Related: Propositioned; propositioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper