assume

verb
as·​sume | \ ə-ˈsüm How to pronounce assume (audio) \
assumed; assuming

Definition of assume

transitive verb

1a : to take to or upon oneself : undertake assume responsibility
b : to place oneself in assume a position
2 : seize, usurp assume control
3 : to pretend to have or be : feign assumed an air of confidence in spite of her nervousness
4 : to take as granted or true : suppose I assume he'll be there.
5 : to take over (the debts of another) as one's own
6 : put on, don Mrs. Fairfax assumed her best black satin gown, her gloves, and her gold watch.— Charlotte Brontë
7a : to take up or in : receive
b : to take into partnership, employment, or use

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Other Words from assume

assumability \ -​ˌsü-​mə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce assumability (audio) \ noun
assumable \ -​ˈsü-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce assumable (audio) \ adjective
assumably \ -​blē How to pronounce assumably (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for assume

Synonyms

accept, bear, shoulder, take over, undertake

Antonyms

disavow, disclaim, disown, repudiate

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Choose the Right Synonym for assume

assume, affect, pretend, simulate, feign, counterfeit, sham mean to put on a false or deceptive appearance. assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive. assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling. affected an interest in art pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance. pretended that nothing had happened simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something. cosmetics that simulate a suntan feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate. feigned sickness counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words. an actor counterfeiting drunkenness sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible. shammed a most unconvincing limp

The Difference Between Assume and Presume

Assume and presume both mean "to take something for granted" or "to take something as true," but the words differ in the degree of confidence the person assuming or presuming has. Presume is used when someone is making an informed guess based on reasonable evidence. Assume is used when the guess is based on little or no evidence.

Presume functions a little differently in the legal catchphrase "presumed innocent until proven guilty." That sense of presume is separately defined as "to suppose to be true without proof." It is based on the fact that legal systems grant a defendant the presumption of innocence, thereby placing the burden of proof on the prosecution.

Examples of assume in a Sentence

I assumed he was coming, so I was surprised when he didn't show up. She assumed from his expression that he was confused. We'll be arriving around noon. That's assuming that our flight is on time. The king assumed the throne when he was very young. Under certain conditions, the chemical will assume the appearance of ice.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Does it annoy you that fans might automatically assume or wonder if the mother is Sophie? Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "All Your Questions About the This Is Us Season Three Finale, Answered," 3 Apr. 2019 Cisnormativity means assuming that everyone identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth. Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "What Does 'Cisgender' Mean?," 13 Mar. 2019 Obviously, fans were pretty excited about Jenner's suggestive caption, with many assuming that the Kylie Cosmetics founder might actually be pregnant again. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Just Casually Teased a Second Pregnancy & Fans Are Freaking Out," 3 Feb. 2019 An old line of thinking assumed there was split in the family. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study: Horseshoe Crabs Really Are Arachnids, Just Like Spiders," 28 Feb. 2019 Upon assuming the reins in 1983, Lagerfeld swiftly revived Chanel, reinterpreting the house founder’s iconic tweed skirtsuits, little black dresses, and quilted handbags. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Legendary Designer Karl Lagerfeld Has Died," 19 Feb. 2019 Critics have said his first mistake was ignoring a key law that compels officials to declare their assets before assuming office. Jonathan Paye-layleh, The Seattle Times, "Liberia’s footballer president Weah marks year in office," 22 Jan. 2019 But to my dismay, only the trans people displayed their pronouns — my cis friends just assumed their were a given. Samantha Riedel, Teen Vogue, "How to Break Away From the Gender Binary," 26 Oct. 2018 Astaneh, 33, assumed her angry blast would remain anonymous. Maria Cramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Facing off with the US Postal Service," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assume.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of assume

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7a

History and Etymology for assume

Middle English, from Latin assumere, from ad- + sumere to take — more at consume

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Statistics for assume

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assume

The first known use of assume was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for assume

assume

verb

English Language Learners Definition of assume

: to think that something is true or probably true without knowing that it is true
: to begin (a role, duty, etc.) as a job or responsibility
: to take or begin to have (power, control, etc.) in a job or situation

assume

verb
as·​sume | \ ə-ˈsüm How to pronounce assume (audio) \
assumed; assuming

Kids Definition of assume

1 : to begin to take on or perform assume responsibility assumed the presidency
2 : to take or begin to have The problem assumes greater importance now.
3 : to pretend to have or be We both assumed an air of weary worldliness …— Richard Peck, A Long Way From Chicago
4 : to accept as true I assume you're right.
as·​sume
assumed; assuming

Legal Definition of assume

1 : to voluntarily take upon oneself assume a risk
2 : to take over (the debts or obligations of another) as one's own assume a mortgage

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More from Merriam-Webster on assume

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assume

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assume

Spanish Central: Translation of assume

Nglish: Translation of assume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assume for Arabic Speakers

Comments on assume

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