pre·​sump·​tu·​ous pri-ˈzəm(p)-chə-wəs How to pronounce presumptuous (audio)
: overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy) : taking liberties
presumptuously adverb
presumptuousness noun

Examples of presumptuous in a Sentence

To Yale University, he was David Sneed. And some people called him that. Close friends called him Marc. Not wanting to appear presumptuous, I tried not to commit to either, waiting instead for a signal. Peter Beinart, New Republic, 22 Jan. 1996
Professor Stegner mistook me, I fear, for an anti-intellectual, not understanding that I was in fact something far less presumptuous—a near-illiterate, especially compared to the rest of his blue-chip roster. Ken Kesey, New York Times Book Review, 31 Dec. 1989
To spy out the shape of God's Heaven was superfluous, presumptuous, and might prove blasphemous. Galileo was no better than a theological Peeping Tom. Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983
it's a little presumptuous of you to assume that I'm your new best friend just because I invited you along the presumptuous doctor didn't even bother to explain to me the treatment that I would be receiving
Recent Examples on the Web How many authors could title their book simply World Order without sounding utterly presumptuous? Wolfgang Ischinger, Foreign Affairs, 1 Mar. 2015 At least since Dickie’s presumptuous disclosure of his sexuality in the last episode, a key has been slowly turning in Tom’s brain. Rafaela Bassili, Vulture, 4 Apr. 2024 Shallow and presumptuous is some kind of one-two punch. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2023 Each tower appears vulnerable and insignificant, and perhaps even presumptuous, compared with the heavens around and above it. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for presumptuous 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'presumptuous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French presumptious, from Late Latin praesumptuosus, irregular from praesumptio — see presume

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of presumptuous was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near presumptuous

Cite this Entry

“Presumptuous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


pre·​sump·​tu·​ous pri-ˈzəm(p)-ch(ə-w)əs How to pronounce presumptuous (audio)
: going beyond what is proper
presumptuously adverb
presumptuousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on presumptuous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!