sup·​pose | \ sə-ˈpōz How to pronounce suppose (audio) , usually after "I" ˈspōz \
supposed; supposing

Definition of suppose

transitive verb

1a : to lay down tentatively as a hypothesis, assumption, or proposal suppose a fire broke out suppose you bring the salad
b(1) : to hold as an opinion : believe they supposed they were early
(2) : to think probable or in keeping with the facts seems reasonable to suppose that he would profit
b : to have a suspicion of

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Examples of suppose in a Sentence

Suppose a fire broke out. How would we escape? Just suppose for a moment that you agreed with me. Supposing he refuses to help, what do we do then? The renovations will cost much more than we originally supposed.
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Recent Examples on the Web Now suppose someone wanted to attack the integrity of the network by spending the same coins twice. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Want to really understand how bitcoin works? Here’s a gentle primer," 26 Dec. 2020 Now suppose that, instead of being held on a cube, the party is held on a hypercube—a jungle gym built in four dimensions instead of three. Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, "Three Mathematicians We Lost in 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 To suppose such a thing is to ascribe to history a still more powerful authority even than right-wing reactionaries do. Chilton Williamson Jr., WSJ, "The Woke See No Evil—and Nothing but Evil," 25 Dec. 2020 Now suppose that machine is buried deep underground, but connected to a computer, which is in turn hooked up to sensors in cities and towns across the United States. Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic, "Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine," 15 Dec. 2020 Further suppose those shapes are all convex, with no indentations. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Uncover the Universal Geometry of Geology," 19 Nov. 2020 What’s more, suppose the Supreme Court agrees that the agency is simply working out the details. Mark Tushnet, Fortune, "Will a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court roll back regulations on business? Not so fast," 27 Oct. 2020 But suppose that changes and both he and Mr. Trump are too sick to perform the presidency’s duties. John Yoo, WSJ, "A Winding Constitutional Path From Trump to Pence to Pompeo," 2 Oct. 2020 To date the company has booked $35 billion of charges to earnings, offering little reason to suppose that’s the final number. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, "5 years in, damages from the VW emissions cheating scandal are still rolling in," 6 Oct. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for suppose

Middle English, from Anglo-French supposer, from Medieval Latin supponere (perfect indicative supposui), from Latin, to put under, substitute, from sub- + ponere to put — more at position

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Time Traveler for suppose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for suppose

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Suppose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for suppose


How to pronounce suppose (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of suppose

: to think of (something) as happening or being true in order to imagine what might happen
: to believe (something) to be true
: to believe (something) to be possible


sup·​pose | \ sə-ˈpōz How to pronounce suppose (audio) \
supposed; supposing

Kids Definition of suppose

1 : to think of as true or as a fact for the sake of argument Let's suppose you won.
2 : believe sense 2, think I suppose that's true.
3 : guess entry 1 sense 1 Who do you suppose won?

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