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 also pri-ˈmīz How to pronounce premise (audio) \
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

Brewers have been advocating for the measure, which will allow Texas consumers to purchase six-packs, growler and crowlers at breweries, to take home for off-premise consumption, for more than a decade. Maggie Gordon, Houston Chronicle, "Beer To Go is officially official in Texas," 5 June 2019 The premise stems from the company's effort to reduce its reliance on sales of retail goods and increase its commitment to health care services. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "CVS turning 1,500 stores into HealthHUB locations with less retail, more health care," 4 June 2019 While dating apps such as Bumble — which lets women make the first move — and gay dating app Grindr have more specific premises to attract users, Tinder appeals broadly to singles looking to quickly and simply find matches nearby. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Tinder adds sexual orientation feature to aid LGBTQ matching," 4 June 2019 Bumblebee is a legitimately solid movie that demonstrates how a good story, strong performances, and talented direction can make even the most outlandish premises work. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Bumblebee proves Transformers movies can actually be resonant and emotional," 20 Dec. 2018 This familiar premise leads to a twist: Instead of adrenaline rush suspense scenes, this plot languishes in mundane melancholia. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 12 July 2018 Cleansing oils are based on the premise that like dissolves like. Janell M. Hickman, Seventeen, "5 Life-Changing Skincare Tricks Women of Color Need To Know," 4 Feb. 2019 This new approach is based on the premise that our modern lifestyles — along with environmental assaults from infectious pathogens and toxins — are as much to blame for Alzheimer’s as renegade genes or plaques. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 The chain’s 40 percent growth in off-premises sales in the first quarter resulted from the modifications within the menu, online ordering and call center support, per the ACSI report. Dixita Limbachia, USA TODAY, "This fast-food chain has diners clucking in new quality survey," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lawyers for the oil companies have sought to dismiss the suits by San Francisco and Oakland, arguing among other things that they were premised on an overreaching interpretation of public-nuisance law. Miguel Bustillo, WSJ, "Judge Demands More Information from Oil Companies in Climate-Change Suits," 24 May 2018 These aren’t huge percentages, but enough to disrupt Democratic strategies that have been premised for years on overwhelming support among African-Americans. James Freeman, WSJ, "Art of the Deal: 2020," 16 Nov. 2018 Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Jennifer Hansler, CNN, "Sen. Tammy Duckworth expresses support for protesters in wake of new NFL National Anthem policy," 26 May 2018 And speaking of the FISA court, isn't your whole investigation premised on a fake dossier paid for by Hillary, created by a man who hates Donald Trump and used two con a FISA court judge? Fox News, "Judge Jeanine: I want the Mueller probe to go on and on," 12 Aug. 2018 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Democracy is premised on the idea that political power is only legitimate when exercised with the consent of the governed. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Wisconsin power grab is part of a bigger Republican attack on democracy," 6 Dec. 2018 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

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

Dictionary Entries near premise

premineral

premio

premisal

premise

premised on/upon

premit

premium

Statistics for premise

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for premise

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

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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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