postulate

verb
pos·​tu·​late | \ ˈpäs-chə-ˌlāt How to pronounce postulate (audio) \
postulated; postulating

Definition of postulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

2a : to assume or claim as true, existent, or necessary : depend upon or start from the postulate of
b : to assume as a postulate or axiom (as in logic or mathematics)

postulate

noun
pos·​tu·​late | \ ˈpäs-chə-lət How to pronounce postulate (audio) , -ˌlāt \

Definition of postulate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a hypothesis advanced as an essential presupposition, condition, or premise of a train of reasoning

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Other Words from postulate

Verb

postulation \ ˌpäs-​chə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce postulation (audio) \ noun
postulational \ ˌpäs-​chə-​ˈlā-​shnəl How to pronounce postulational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Did You Know?

Verb

In 1703, the dedication of the City and County Purchaser and Builders Dictionary included the following words: "These your extraordinary Favours … seem to Postulate from me … a Publick Recognition." That's also how the verb "postulate" was used when English speakers first began using it back in the late 1500s, as a synonym of "require" or "demand." (The word's Latin grandparent, postulare, has the same meaning.) "Postulate" was also used as a noun in the late 1500s, with the meaning "demand" or "stipulation." That sense is now considered archaic, but we still use the noun "postulate." Today, it usually means "a hypothesis advanced as an essential presupposition, condition, or premise of a train of reasoning."

Examples of postulate in a Sentence

Verb Scientists have postulated the existence of water on the planet. postulates that all people are born with certain rights that can never be taken away from them Noun Einstein's theory of relativity was deduced from two postulates. one of the postulates that the true agnostic rejects is the assumption that it is even possible for us to know whether God exists
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Perhaps this one-word change was the real aim, some postulated: Down the road, the Kremlin could argue that the amendment had reset the term-limit counter, allowing Mr. Putin to stay in office for two additional six-year terms. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, "Big Changes? Or Maybe Not. Putin’s Plans Keep Russia Guessing.," 21 Jan. 2020 But four Swedish academics who teamed up to interpret the inscription postulated in a paper published this week that several passages dealt with a natural threat, not a military battle. Washington Post, "Viking-era runestone may reflect fears of a climate disaster," 9 Jan. 2020 More commonly, an economist postulated some theory about economic interactions and then tested the hypothesis by applying statistical techniques to data generated by someone else, often a government statistical bureau. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Nobelists’ work on poverty grounded in research," 20 Oct. 2019 In 1926, the economist George Taylor postulated that women’s skirts get shorter as the economy strengthens and drop as the market declines. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Best Cookbooks of 2019," 9 Dec. 2019 During the same session, Taishi Fukuyama of Amadeus Code postulated that AI songwriting would empower new communities of artists to create wholly new genres, the way sampling led to hip-hop. Dmitri Vietze, Billboard, "Music Tectonics on Fire: Tech Conference Carries On While Dodging LA Blazes (Guest Column)," 12 Nov. 2019 If there are nearly 800 licensed growers planting an average of 50 acres, Waltz postulated, that’s 40,000 acres of hemp – about 35,000 more than this year. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Inside the 'wild wild west' of Indiana's first major hemp harvest," 16 Oct. 2019 Although the universe is always expanding, the steady-state model postulated that matter is continuously being created, allowing the average density of the cosmos to stay constant. Frank Wilczek, Scientific American, "The Exquisite Precision of Time Crystals," 16 Oct. 2019 Many people have postulated that the value of fish comes largely from omega-3 fats, which play many important roles in brain health. Washington Post, "Apples keep you healthy, carrots help your eyes: What science says about such folk remedies," 16 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the heart of this particular puzzle lies a conflict between three fundamental postulates beloved by many physicists. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire," 21 Dec. 2012 Starting from these two postulates, Einstein showed that space and time are intertwined in ways that scientists had never previously realized. NBC News, "What is relativity? Einstein's mind-bending theory explained," 13 Apr. 2018 Starting from these two postulates, Einstein showed that space and time are intertwined in ways that scientists had never previously realized. NBC News, "What is relativity? Einstein's mind-bending theory explained," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postulate.' 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 postulate

Verb

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for postulate

Verb

Latin postulatus, past participle of postulare; akin to Latin poscere to ask, Old High German forscōn to search, Sanskrit pṛcchati he asks — more at pray

Noun

Medieval Latin postulatum, from neuter of postulatus, past participle of postulare to assume, from Latin, to demand

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Time Traveler for postulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of postulate was in 1590

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Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Postulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/postulate. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for postulate

postulate

verb
How to pronounce postulate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of postulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : to suggest (something, such as an idea or theory) especially in order to start a discussion

postulate

noun
How to pronounce postulate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of postulate (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : a statement that is accepted as being true and that is used as the basis of a theory, argument, etc.

postulate

noun
pos·​tu·​late | \ ˈpäs-chə-lət, -ˌlāt How to pronounce postulate (audio) \

Medical Definition of postulate

: a hypothesis advanced as an essential presupposition, condition, or premise of a train of reasoning — see koch's postulates

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