Definition of assume
- assume responsibility
- assume a position
- assumed an air of confidence in spite of her nervousness
- I assume he'll be there.
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.
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.
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.
: 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
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