premise

noun
prem·​ise | \ˈpre-məs \
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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The occasional rough edge aside, there's no question that Puppy Cube delivers on its basic premise. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Puppy Cube mini-review: 720p limits the potential, but it works surprisingly well," 30 Oct. 2018 But despite Bancor’s highly successful fundraising effort last July, which enjoyed the support of billionaire Tim Draper, many remained skeptical of its premise and the price of BNT tokens fell. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Another Crypto Fail: Hackers Steal $23.5 Million from Token Service Bancor," 9 July 2018 The exceptions were two provisions of one of the measures, which forbid employers from voluntarily admitting immigration officers into their premises and prevented them from reverifying the immigration status of an employee. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "In sanctuary ruling, a federal judge schools Atty. Gen. Sessions on the law," 6 July 2018 The tassel’s provocation is part of its whole premise. Maggie Lange, The Cut, "Some Thoughts on the Tassel Earring," 28 June 2018 Making very little hay out of its promising premise (the two actors occupy neighboring cells in a submarine prison), this derivative B movie is sure to disappoint fans of prior JCVD/Lundgren outings — which are an awfully low bar to hurdle. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Black Water': Film Review," 23 May 2018 The Boring Company is built on the premise that tunneling technology has not been adequately developed. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk on double-decker freeways, permitting, and building sewers," 11 Nov. 2018 Fed examiners, present in Prudential’s offices since 2013, will vacate the premises, leaving New Jersey state supervisors with primary responsibility for overseeing the firm’s global operations. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "Risk of Bank-Like Regulation Fades for Big Financial Firms," 17 Oct. 2018 And yet some critics have already pounced on the premise of the show, suggesting that the very concept is flippant and insensitive. Daniel Arkin /, NBC News, "New game show 'Paid Off' offers chance to eliminate student loan debt," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It is premised on Democratic victories in next month’s elections and the 2020 presidential contest that could leave Democrats in charge of Congress and the White House in 2021. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "New campaign seeks support for expanded Supreme Court," 16 Oct. 2018 Even then, it was premised on the exclusion of black people. Park Macdougald, Daily Intelligencer, "Can America’s Two Tribes Learn to Live Together?," 19 Apr. 2018 MoviePass dramatically cut the price of its subscription theater-ticket service immediately after 2017’s disastrous summer, and its entire business was premised on continued declines in theater attendance. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "U.S. Summer Box Office Surges Back to Near-Record Levels," 30 June 2018 The administration had pointed to the Chad decision to show that the restrictions were premised only on national security concerns. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "High court OKs Trump’s travel ban, rejects Muslim bias claim," 26 June 2018 The Trump Tower session was more than that; it was premised on dirt-digging that didn’t pan out. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Breaking news on Trump Tower meeting with Russians contains little news," 17 May 2018 The judgment here, premised on a decision of a federal court of appeals, provides more than enough basis to justify the recision of DACA. Josh Blackman, National Review, "A Ludicrous Ruling That Trump Can’t End DACA," 10 Jan. 2018 Haley pushed back in Thursday's letter, arguing that the administration had created a strong economy that would lift people out of poverty and that Alston's report was premised on misleading statistics. Jeff Stein, chicagotribune.com, "Haley: 'It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America'," 22 June 2018 Haley pushed back in Thursday’s letter, arguing that the administration had created a strong economy that would lift people out of poverty and that Alston’s report was premised on misleading statistics. Jeff Stein, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Ridiculous’ for UN to examine poverty in America, says top Trump administration official," 22 June 2018

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.

See More

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

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

Verb

see premise entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about premise

Dictionary Entries near premise

premineral

premio

premisal

premise

premised on/upon

premit

premium

Statistics for premise

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for premise

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for premise

premise

noun

English Language Learners Definition of premise

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

noun
prem·​ise | \ˈpre-məs \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on premise

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!