pre·​sump·​tive | \ pri-ˈzəm(p)-tiv How to pronounce presumptive (audio) \

Definition of presumptive

1 : based on probability or presumption the presumptive nominee/winner — see also heir presumptive
2 : giving grounds for reasonable opinion or belief A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent is considered presumptive evidence of drunken driving in Louisiana for those 21 and older.— Joe Gyan Jr. He was admitted to the hospital with a presumptive diagnosis of cellulitis.— Mary Jo Bonner … health departments in 20 states reported 100 presumptive or confirmed human cases of arboviral disease …The Journal of the American Medical Association
3 : being an embryonic precursor with the potential for forming a particular structure or tissue in the normal course of development presumptive retina

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Other Words from presumptive

presumptively adverb

Examples of presumptive in a Sentence

in that climate of fear, an accusation alone was presumptive evidence of guilt
Recent Examples on the Web April 8: Biden becomes presumptive Democratic presidential nominee as Sanders suspends his campaign. USA Today, "The year that was: A global pandemic, racial protests, a president-elect. Oh, and impeachment.," 28 Dec. 2020 Antigen tests conducted Thursday morning resulted in three more presumptive positives, and there were six positive cases among staff over that same time period. David Ginsburg,, "Saturday’s Maryland-Michigan State Big Ten football game canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak on the Terrapins," 17 Dec. 2020 Multiple major projections have the Hoosiers in the Fiesta Bowl, facing presumptive Pac-12 champion USC. USA TODAY, "College football COVID-19 update: Indiana-Purdue game called off — again," 16 Dec. 2020 Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University, said the presumptive speaker of the Texas House, Beaumont State Rep. Dade Phelan, will have to deal carefully with Burrows, who was among his first wave of supporters. James Barragán, Dallas News, "After targeting GOP lawmakers in elections, can Dustin Burrows find redemption in the Texas House?," 11 Dec. 2020 The reliability of the presumptive results from urine tests depends on the specific test that’s used and which drug is presumably detected, according to Mayo Clinic guidance for doctors. Ashley Remkus |, al, "How court-ordered drug testing in Alabama poses impossible choices," 8 Dec. 2020 Earlier this week, coach Jim Harbaugh said team meetings would be conducted virtually after an increased number of presumptive positive COVID-19 tests. Larry Lage, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football has at least 12 positive COVID-19 cases, according to AP source," 4 Dec. 2020 According to the Arizona State Legislature's website, the presumptive sentence is five years in prison and the maximum time is 10 years in prison. Jamie Landers, The Arizona Republic, "Man indicted for manslaughter in crash that killed Salt River officer in 2019," 3 Dec. 2020 There were additional presumptive positive tests Tuesday and the program was awaiting confirmation of those results. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's home game Saturday against Minnesota has been canceled," 24 Nov. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of presumptive was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Presumptive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for presumptive


pre·​sump·​tive | \ pri-ˈzəm(p)-tiv How to pronounce presumptive (audio) \

Medical Definition of presumptive

1 : expected to develop in a particular direction under normal conditions presumptive regions of the blastula
2 : being the embryonic precursor of presumptive neural tissue
3 : giving grounds for reasonable opinion a presumptive diagnosis of dengue presumptive or confirmed cases of communicable disease


pre·​sump·​tive | \ pri-ˈzəmp-tiv How to pronounce presumptive (audio) \

Legal Definition of presumptive

1 : based on presumption : presumed to have occurred a presumptive violation of law
2 : giving grounds for reasonable opinion or belief

Other Words from presumptive

presumptively adverb

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