Definition of premise
1a : a proposition antecedently supposed or proved as a basis of argument or inference; specifically : either of the first two propositions of a syllogism from which the conclusion is drawnb : something assumed or taken for granted : presupposition
2 premises also premisses plural : matters previously stated; specifically : the preliminary and explanatory part of a deed or of a bill in equity
3 premises also premisses plural [from its being identified in the premises of the deed] a : a tract of land with the buildings thereonb : a building or part of a building usually with its appurtenances (such as grounds)
Examples of premise in a Sentence
Called behavioral ecology, it starts from the premise that social and environmental forces select for various behaviors that optimize people's fitness in a given environment. Different environment, different behaviors—and different human “natures.” —Sharon Begley, Newsweek, 29 June 2009
Although the Voting Rights Act served, in some measure, to formalize the notion of racial representation, its consequences undermined its premise—that a transparency of interests existed between the representative and the represented. —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., New Yorker, 24 Oct. 1994
Thirty years ago the modesty of the general expectation was still consistent with the original American premise of self-government. —Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, November 1992
They were asked to leave the premises.
The company leases part of the premises to smaller businesses.
The premises were searched by the police.
He disagreed with her premise.
the basic premises of the argument
a theory based on the simple premise that what goes up must come down
Origin and Etymology of premise
in sense 1, from Middle English premisse, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin praemissa, from Latin, feminine of praemissus, past participle of praemittere to place ahead, from prae- pre- + mittere to send; in other senses, from Middle English premisses, from Medieval Latin praemissa, from Latin, neuter plural of praemissus
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Examples of premise in a Sentence
Niebuhr … adhered to a form of liberalism more premised on a realistic assessment of human nature than Rauschenbusch's naïve progressivism was. —Alan Wolfe, New York Times Book Review, 21 Oct. 2007
Fears of a nuclear holocaust were fueled by President Nixon's “madman” theory of diplomacy. The madman theory was premised on the assumption that if the Soviets thought that Nixon was crazy enough to drop the bomb, they would leave us alone. —Will Manley, Booklist, 1 & 15 June 2006
let us premise certain things, such as every person's need for love, before beginning our line of reasoning
PREMISE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of premise for English Language Learners
premises : a building and the area of land that it is on
: a statement or idea that is accepted as being true and that is used as the basis of an argument
PREMISE Defined for Kids
Definition of premise for Students
1 : a statement or idea taken to be true and on which an argument or reasoning may be based
2 premises plural : a piece of land with the buildings on it
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up premise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).