Definition of presume
- presumed innocent until proved guilty
“Is she still at work?” “I presume so, since she's not home.”
The court must presume innocence until there is proof of guilt.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'presume.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Assume and presume both mean "to take something for granted" or "to take something as true," but the words differ in the degree of confidence the person assuming or presuming has. Presume is used when someone is making an informed guess based on reasonable evidence. Assume is used when the guess is based on little or no evidence.
Presume functions a little differently in the legal catchphrase "presumed innocent until proven guilty." That sense of presume is separately defined as "to suppose to be true without proof." It is based on the fact that legal systems grant a defendant the presumption of innocence, thereby placing the burden of proof on the prosecution.
take for granted;
: to think that (something) is true without knowing that it is true
: to accept legally or officially that something is true until it is proved not true
: to do (something) that you do not have the right or permission to do
What made you want to look up presume? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to pay off by making regular payments
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