Synonym Chooser

How does the verb assume contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of assume are affect, counterfeit, feign, pretend, sham, and simulate. While all these words mean "to put on a false or deceptive appearance," assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive.

assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients

When would affect be a good substitute for assume?

The words affect and assume are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling.

affected an interest in art

In what contexts can counterfeit take the place of assume?

In some situations, the words counterfeit and assume are roughly equivalent. However, counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words.

an actor counterfeiting drunkenness

How does the word feign relate to other synonyms for assume?

Feign implies more artful invention than pretend, less specific mimicry than simulate.

feigned sickness

When is it sensible to use pretend instead of assume?

While in some cases nearly identical to assume, pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance.

pretended that nothing had happened

When is sham a more appropriate choice than assume?

The words sham and assume can be used in similar contexts, but sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible.

shammed a most unconvincing limp

When might simulate be a better fit than assume?

The synonyms simulate and assume are sometimes interchangeable, but simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something.

cosmetics that simulate a suntan

Thesaurus Entries Near assume

Cite this Entry

“Assume.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on assume

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