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

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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 basic premise that paying an elite high school basketball player to attend a particular college is evidence of criminal conduct should not be accepted as a given or as an absolute truth. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Why Maryland Receiving FBI Subpoenas Should Worry Other College Programs, Basketball Players," 7 July 2018 There’s something that might feel a little unsettling about the premise that the way people respond to art can be altered based on the way it is presented, and that an art museum would, in fact, even want to do that. Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian, "The Neuroscientist in the Art Museum," 19 June 2018 Angie Weyman, communications and marketing manager at Coney Island, was on the premises when the incident occurred. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Tree branch falls onto children's ride at Coney Island," 15 June 2018 The Capella hotel will also be secured, with an airport-style X-ray scanner at the entrance, and police officers will reportedly check vehicles entering the premises for bombs. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Meet Sentosa, the Island Resort Hosting the Trump-Kim Summit," 11 June 2018 But even as Malaysian politics has been turned upside-down, there has been little questioning of the premise on which UMNO had governed Malaysia since independence: that Malays deserve special privileges. The Economist, "Malaysia’s ruling party may be gone, but its racial policies survive," 7 June 2018 After searching the premises for other guns or unusual items, the lockdown was lifted and classes resumed as scheduled, officials said. Ruth Bruno, courant.com, "Plainfield High School Put In Lockdown; Student Brought BB Gun," 5 June 2018 That’s the premise of one of our favorite films from Telluride Mountainfilm, Dark Money, which traces financial corruption in a Montana election to show how interest groups steer politics and make candidates beholden to the groups that pay them. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, "The Newest Adventure Movies You Can Watch Right Now," 12 July 2018 At the time being launched, the EQ models will feature the latest status of automated driving - always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "Hair Saloon plans Houston expansion," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Meet the man in charge of the HHS agency overseeing migrant children," 22 June 2018 Historically, employers used past accomplishments as the sole metric for compensation decisions, premised on the idea that the past is prologue. Rebecca Greenfield, latimes.com, "Your raise is now based on next year's performance," 9 July 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

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

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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

9 Nov 2018

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

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

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Comments on premise

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