pre·​sump·​tu·​ous | \ pri-ˈzəm(p)-chə-wəs How to pronounce presumptuous (audio) , -chəs, -shəs\

Definition of presumptuous

: overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy) : taking liberties

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Other Words from presumptuous

presumptuously adverb
presumptuousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for presumptuous


bold, familiar, forward, free, immodest, overfamiliar, presuming


modest, unassuming

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Their main customer was DOD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which originally dubbed them Project Sunrise—a name that seemed presumptuous to them. Ann Finkbeiner, Science | AAAS, "Jason—a secretive group of Cold War science advisers—is fighting to survive in the 21st century," 27 June 2019 Somehow, one commenter interpreted this as an invitation to make presumptuous remarks about the 21-year-old actor's appearance. Marci Robin, Allure, "Ariel Winter Shut Down a Troll Who Said She "Obviously" Got a Lot of Plastic Surgery," 10 May 2019 The main problem with YouTube’s presumptuous announcement, Mr. Jemielniak suggested, is that Wikipedia is not necessarily geared toward breaking news — and conspiracy theories tend to move at lightning speed during times of crisis. John Herrman, New York Times, "YouTube May Add to the Burdens of Humble Wikipedia," 19 Mar. 2018 And, after a strong response from the Liverpool Echo, which labelled Mafham's piece 'vile, presumptuous and repugnant' and Liverpool city mayor Joe Anderson, the newspaper issued a public statement apologising unreservedly., "Daily Express Apologises to Liverpool Over 'Ill-Informed & Wrong' Response to Attack on Innocent Fan," 27 Apr. 2018 But in the same way that western settlers came to the real American frontier seeing an empty landscape, Barlow’s metaphor making was presumptuous. Jesse Jarnow, WIRED, "The Ghost of John Perry Barlow Lives in His Posthumous Memoir," 5 June 2018 But Herzog warned that any attempt by Starbucks to extend that conversation beyond the workforce risked seeming presumptuous and could have significant consequences. Janelle Nanos,, "Starbucks briefly closes most of its stores for antibias training," 30 May 2018 When Roberts proposed the name, The Masters, Jones objected, believing the name was too presumptuous. Nihal Kolur,, "Why is it Called the Masters?," 5 Apr. 2018 Florida coach Mike White will be the first to tell anyone expecting results similar to the Gators’ deep NCAA Tournament run last season would be highly presumptuous. Chris Hays,, "Gators hoping to find consistency heading into NCAA Tournament," 13 Mar. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for presumptuous

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

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Statistics for presumptuous

Last Updated

1 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for presumptuous

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

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More Definitions for presumptuous



English Language Learners Definition of presumptuous

formal : too confident especially in a way that is rude : done or made without permission, right, or good reason


pre·​sump·​tu·​ous | \ pri-ˈzəmp-chə-wəs How to pronounce presumptuous (audio) \

Kids Definition of presumptuous

: going beyond what is proper It would be presumptuous to ask personal questions.

Other Words from presumptuous

presumptuously adverb
presumptuousness noun

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Comments on presumptuous

What made you want to look up presumptuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

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