noun prem·ise \ˈpre-məs\

premises : a building and the area of land that it is on

: a statement or idea that is accepted as being true and that is used as the basis of an argument

Full Definition of PREMISE

a :  a proposition antecedently supposed or proved as a basis of argument or inference; specifically :  either of the first two propositions of a syllogism from which the conclusion is drawn
b :  something assumed or taken for granted :  presupposition
plural :  matters previously stated; specifically :  the preliminary and explanatory part of a deed or of a bill in equity
plural [from its being identified in the premises of the deed]
a :  a tract of land with the buildings thereon
b :  a building or part of a building usually with its appurtenances (as grounds)

Variants of PREMISE

prem·ise also pre·miss \ˈpre-məs\

Examples of PREMISE

  1. They were asked to leave the premises.
  2. The company leases part of the premises to smaller businesses.
  3. The premises were searched by the police.
  4. He disagreed with her premise.
  5. the basic premises of the argument
  6. a theory based on the simple premise that what goes up must come down
  7. Called behavioral ecology, it starts from the premise that social and environmental forces select for various behaviors that optimize people's fitness in a given environment. Different environment, different behaviors—and different human natures. —Sharon Begley, Newsweek, 29 June 2009

Origin of PREMISE

in sense 1, from Middle English premisse, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin praemissa, from Latin, feminine of praemissus, past participle of praemittere to place ahead, from prae- pre- + mittere to send; in other senses, from Middle English premisses, from Medieval Latin praemissa, from Latin, neuter plural of praemissus
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Logic Terms

a posteriori, connotation, corollary, inference, mutually exclusive, paradox, postulate, syllogism


verb pre·mise \ˈpre-məs also pri-ˈmīz\

Definition of PREMISE

transitive verb
a :  to set forth beforehand as an introduction or a postulate
b :  to offer as a premise in an argument
:  postulate
:  to base on certain assumptions

Examples of PREMISE

  1. <let us premise certain things, such as every person's need for love, before beginning our line of reasoning>
  2. Niebuhr… adhered to a form of liberalism more premised on a realistic assessment of human nature than Rauschenbusch's naïve progressivism was. —Alan Wolfe, New York Times Book Review, 21 Oct. 2007

Origin of PREMISE

(see 1premise)
First Known Use: 1526

Other Logic Terms

a posteriori, connotation, corollary, inference, mutually exclusive, paradox, postulate, syllogism
PREMISE Defined for Kids


noun prem·ise \ˈpre-məs\

Definition of PREMISE for Kids

:  a statement or idea taken to be true and on which an argument or reasoning may be based
premises plural :  a piece of land with the buildings on it


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