pre·​sup·​pose | \ ˌprē-sə-ˈpōz How to pronounce presuppose (audio) \
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 How to pronounce presuppose (audio) \ noun
presuppositional \ (ˌ)prē-​ˌsə-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce presuppose (audio) , -​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 Most philosophical theories regarding responsibility presuppose some other theory on free will. Teddy Mcdarrah, Forbes, 17 May 2021 The Bible describes how the second Passover – a year after the Israelites left Egypt – is celebrated in the wilderness, but seems to presuppose that its future celebration will be in the temple in Jerusalem. Samuel L. Boyd, The Conversation, 24 Mar. 2021 Any action taken by a Biden administration would have to presuppose that Democrats gain control of the Senate and retain control of the House, and even then, nothing is guaranteed, said Mark Mazur, director of The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, 18 Sep. 2020 Similarly, the existence of a social order does not presuppose a government giving comprehensive and minute direction to the social order. . . . Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 12 Aug. 2020 Onward presupposes that Earth's history is rich with dragons, wizards, elves, fairies, unicorns, centaurs, and the like. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 6 Mar. 2020 This model presupposes a certain amount of waste and spending on weapons that may never be used. Mark Olshaker, Fortune, 20 Apr. 2020 Onward presupposes that Earth's history is rich with dragons, wizards, elves, fairies, unicorns, centaurs, and the like. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 6 Mar. 2020 The permanent presupposes human foresight; the temporary has no such vanity. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 11 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for presuppose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for presuppose

Last Updated

25 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Presuppose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for presuppose



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

More from Merriam-Webster on presuppose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for presuppose

Nglish: Translation of presuppose for Spanish Speakers


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