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postulate

verb pos·tu·late \ ˈpäs-chə-ˌlāt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of postulate

postulated; postulating
transitive verb
1 : demand, claim
2 a : 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)

postulation

play \ˌpäs-chə-ˈlā-shən\ noun

postulational

play \ˌpäs-chə-ˈlā-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\ adjective

postulate was our Word of the Day on 03/06/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of postulate in a Sentence

  1. Scientists have postulated the existence of water on the planet.

  2. postulates that all people are born with certain rights that can never be taken away from them

Recent Examples of postulate from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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."

Origin and Etymology of postulate

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


2

postulate

noun pos·tu·late \ ˈpäs-chə-lət , -ˌlāt \

Definition of postulate

1 : a hypothesis advanced as an essential presupposition, condition, or premise of a train of reasoning
2 : axiom 2

Examples of postulate in a Sentence

  1. Einstein's theory of relativity was deduced from two postulates.

  2. one of the postulates that the true agnostic rejects is the assumption that it is even possible for us to know whether God exists

Recent Examples of postulate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of postulate

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


POSTULATE Defined for English Language Learners

postulate

verb

Definition of postulate for English Language Learners

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


postulate

noun

Definition of postulate for English Language Learners

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


Medical Dictionary

postulate

noun pos·tu·late \ ˈpäs-chə-lət, -ˌlāt \

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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