assume

verb
as·​sume | \ə-ˈsüm \
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 \ noun
assumable \ -​ˈsü-​mə-​bəl \ adjective
assumably \ -​blē \ 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

It is assumed the aircraft crashed in the Indian Ocean and searches for wreckage have turned up empty. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Suicide by plane: Trend has cost the lives of more than 393 people in 4 years," 15 Aug. 2018 The knee-jerk reaction is to assume people are finally be fed up with Facebook’s privacy issues. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "How far will Facebook fall today?," 26 July 2018 Genius, it is ordinarily assumed, is erected on the tortured soul, one that is absolved hence from its tortures of others. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 Though these attributions were already widely assumed, the White House's public acknowledgement is a key step as both the government and private sector grapple with how to respond. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "The Worst Cybersecurity Breaches of 2018 So Far," 9 July 2018 Responsibilities formerly under these jobs will be assumed by other senior leaders who will report directly to Ellison. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Lowe's announces major shakeup of executive roles," 9 July 2018 The interview, published during a gala dinner May hosted for Trump at Blenheim Palace, appeared to further ratchet up tensions in a relationship that’s been fraught since the president assumed office. Fortune, "Trump Apologizes to May and Vows U.K. Trade Deal After Brexit," 13 July 2018 After a new Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, assumed office in 2005, the state dropped that claim , which had been filed under Daniels' Democratic predecessor, Gov. Joe Kernan. Brian Slodysko, Houston Chronicle, "Pence family gas stations left costly environmental legacy," 13 July 2018 After a new Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, assumed office in 2005, the state dropped that claim , which had been filed under Daniels' Democratic predecessor, Gov. Joe Kernan. Brian Slodysko, The Courier-Journal, "Cleanup of Pence family's failed gas stations cost Indiana taxpayers $20M," 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

14 Nov 2018

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 \
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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Comments on assume

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