pre·​sup·​pose | \ˌprē-sə-ˈpōz \
presupposed; presupposing; presupposes

Definition of presuppose 

transitive verb

1 : to suppose beforehand

2 : to require as an antecedent in logic or fact

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Other Words from presuppose

presupposition \(ˌ)prē-​ˌsə-​pə-​ˈzi-​shən \ noun
presuppositional \(ˌ)prē-​ˌsə-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl, -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of presuppose in a Sentence

The rule presupposes a need to restrict student access to the library. the book presupposes its readers will already know something about the subject

Recent Examples on the Web

Like so many art market projections, this presupposes continued vigor among the high net worth individuals. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "You Might Actually Be Able to Afford a Picasso," 1 Apr. 2016 But even this presupposes the U.K. agrees to a Northern Irish backstop deal, without which any debate about the future relationship is whistling in the wind—unless the cabinet thinks the EU is bluffing on this, too. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Britain’s Brexit Dilemma: Should It Compromise, or Confront the EU?," 4 July 2018 This question presupposes that sports team owners belong in a pantheon — a temple of the gods. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Ranking the best team owners in Bay Area sports history," 12 June 2018 As things stand, the cost of using Carbon Engineering’s kit to scrub 8bn-10bn tonnes of CO2 per year, as the climate models presuppose, would run to trillions of dollars. The Economist, "Extracting carbon dioxide from the air is possible. But at what cost?," 7 June 2018 The people that are part of my life presuppose dignity and respect as foundational in every one of their relationships. NBC News, "After the reckoning: #MeToo, sex and dating in 2018," 19 Apr. 2018 Gorsuch also agreed with the majority in holding that even when levied as a civil penalty, deportation is a sanction serious enough be treated as presupposing a clear standard of unlawful behavior. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Gorsuch Sides With Court’s Liberals – But Follows Scalia – in Deportation Case," 17 Apr. 2018 But that presupposes one thing: that Trump is guilty of something. Martin Finucane,, "Here’s how Trump’s legal team may be falling short of the mark," 30 Mar. 2018 One potential sticking point in the comparison could be the fact that treason in Germany is sometimes thought to presuppose the threat of physical violence against the state. Jefferson Chase, USA TODAY, "German court extends detention of ex-Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont," 27 Mar. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for presuppose

Middle English, from Middle French presupposer, from Medieval Latin praesupponere (perfect indicative praesupposui), from Latin prae- + Medieval Latin supponere to suppose — more at suppose

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Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for presuppose

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

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English Language Learners Definition of presuppose

: to be based on the idea that something is true or will happen

: to require or depend on (something) in order to be true or exist

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More from Merriam-Webster on presuppose

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Spanish Central: Translation of presuppose

Nglish: Translation of presuppose for Spanish Speakers

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