premise

noun
prem·​ise | \ ˈpre-məs How to pronounce premise (audio) \
variants: or less commonly premiss

Definition of premise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 drawn
b : 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 thereon
b : a building or part of a building usually with its appurtenances (such as grounds)

premise

verb
pre·​mise | \ ˈpre-məs How to pronounce premise (audio) also pri-ˈmīz \
premised; premising

Definition of premise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to set forth beforehand as an introduction or a postulate
b : to offer as a premise in an argument
2 : postulate
3 : to base on certain assumptions

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Examples of premise in a Sentence

Noun 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 Verb 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The premise of that investigation was that some churches were withholding money out of displeasure with the ERLC’s work. Dominic Pino, National Review, 3 June 2021 The premise is simple: Two prominent producers (or singers or songwriters) pair up live on Instagram and compete to decide who has the better catalog. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 3 June 2021 The premise is simply: zone out for 90 minutes, with the winner having the lowest and most stable heart rate. Washington Post, 29 May 2021 The premise is simply: zone out for 90 minutes, with the winner having the lowest and most stable heart rate. BostonGlobe.com, 29 May 2021 The premise being that this could be a major means of driving additional value for money in the NHS. Tracey Follows, Forbes, 21 May 2021 The whole premise of the show is that its cast is being forced to watch movies that are bad. al, 18 May 2021 The premise is scary, if simple: A husband and wife sit down at the dinner table. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 11 May 2021 The premise behind publishing a diversity of voices, however, is that a publisher would be advancing rigorous, good faith arguments from people across the ideological spectrum. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Purge series went from nifty home-invasion flick premise to blunt political allegory to perfect metaphor for our rapidly-circling-the-drain nation seemingly overnight. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 24 May 2021 Launched last summer, the audio chatting app ClubHouse has piled up over 10 million users on the (correct) premise that a lot of people had hours to just ... talk. Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2021 Along with his co-creator, Brett Goldstein, Bridges teases out the dystopian possibilities of Soulmates’ premise through vignettes that weave together horror, cult fiction, and even explorations of abuse. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 15 Oct. 2020 The treatment is premised on the idea that plasma from survivors should be rich in the antibodies that have helped them to defeat the virus. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 May 2020 Yet from the outset, FDR’s New Deal excluded key groups, such as agricultural and domestic laborers—sacrificial lambs to Southern demands that any enhancement of labor rights not threaten local relations premised on white supremacy. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, 4 May 2020 The argument to remove Trump’s press briefings from the air altogether is gaining momentum, thanks to a Twitter hashtag premised on a new opinion column from Charles Blow in the New York Times. Brianna Provenzano, refinery29.com, 20 Apr. 2020 As with his presidential bid in 2016, Sanders has premised his campaign on supporting and uplifting working-class Americans. Grace Segers, CBS News, 21 Aug. 2019 Crucially, those payouts were premised on there not being a major crash in those world markets. Joe Weisenthal, Bloomberg.com, 8 May 2020

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for premise

Noun and Verb

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

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Learn More About premise

Time Traveler for premise

Time Traveler

The first known use of premise was in the 14th century

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Statistics for premise

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Premise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/premise. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for premise

premise

noun

English Language Learners Definition of premise

: a building and the area of land that it is on
formal : a statement or idea that is accepted as being true and that is used as the basis of an argument

premise

noun
prem·​ise | \ ˈpre-məs How to pronounce premise (audio) \

Kids Definition of premise

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

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