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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Now, the W and Z were postulated and discussed by many people, but the experimental realization required very high energies — for the time, at least. Quanta Magazine, "A Call for Courage as Physicists Confront Collider Dilemma," 7 Aug. 2019 But Graham and company wondered about small, curled-up spatial dimensions that might exist in space, such as the six extra dimensions postulated by string theory. Quanta Magazine, "How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back," 31 Jan. 2018 Addressing Indy's 'heart issue' Politicians and analysts will sometimes postulate about the root causes of violence and what changes can be made to stop it, the Rev. Williams said. Robert Scheer, Indianapolis Star, "'This is not normal': Hundreds of mourners gather to remember teen siblings found shot in their home," 7 Sep. 2019 Researchers have postulated that bone health effects of certain types of water could be due to higher calcium content or the presence of silica in some alkaline water. Christy Brissette, chicagotribune.com, "There’s no solid evidence alkaline water is better for you," 29 Aug. 2019 That relationship, and some other patterns Grant and Ghannam postulated, was the basis for part of Grant's presentation at Black Hat—and for Crown Sterling's whole cryptography play. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Snake oil or genius? Crown Sterling tells its side of Black Hat controversy," 29 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about postulate

Time Traveler for postulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of postulate was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about postulate

Statistics for postulate

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Postulate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/postulated. Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on postulate

What made you want to look up postulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!