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 Still, his request was absurd, incredibly presumptuous. Rebecca Curtis, The New Yorker, 3 July 2023 If Augusta's four par 5s become par 4s on DeChambeau's presumptive and presumptuous scorecard, that surely means the third hole — at 350 yards, by far the shortest par 4 on the course — is marked down to a par 3 at Bryson's Mammoth Tee Shot Emporium. Paul Newberry, Star Tribune, 13 Nov. 2020 Eternals was pretty presumptuous in its own way, gambling that the MCU could launch a new 10-person team, based on a group of characters who have never been commercially successful in print (and have only occasionally been creatively successful there). Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 27 Apr. 2023 Maybe that sounds presumptuous. Patrick Frater, Variety, 17 Jan. 2023 Some saw it as a presumptuous display. John Eligon, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2022 Young was not being presumptuous. Emily Iannaconi, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 But comparisons like this tend to come across as simplistic and presumptuous – sometimes even insulting. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 In the weeks following his signing with the Boston Red Sox last month, Justin Turner started receiving presumptuous pieces of mail to his Southland home. Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2023 See More

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 3 Oct. 2023.

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

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