Definition of premise in English:



Pronunciation: /ˈprɛmɪs/
  • 1A previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion:

    ‘if the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true’
    • ‘Such propositions appear only as premises, never as conclusions.’
    • ‘More formally, the conclusion of a deduction follows necessarily from the premisses.’
    • ‘A valid inference is one where the conclusion follows from the premiss.’
    • ‘It seems laughable to conclude from these premisses that a and b are identical to some respect.’
    proposition, assumption, hypothesis, thesis, presupposition, postulation, postulate, supposition, presumption, surmise, conjecture, speculation, datum, argument, assertion, belief, thought
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    1. 1.1 An assertion or proposition which forms the basis for a work or theory:
      ‘the fundamental premise of the report’
      • ‘Each constitution has been premised on the belief that rights are granted to citizens by the state.’
      • ‘Throughout the book numerous studies are given as premises for the theories Buss poses, along with many case study examples.’
      • ‘I thought the fundamental premise of this article was unsound.’
      • ‘The fundamental premise of the publication is that early design for space travel was influenced largely by science fiction.’
      • ‘Two objections, however, are thrown up by the premises of neoliberal theory itself.’
      • ‘Darwin based his theory on scientific hypothesis and not metaphysical premises.’
      • ‘The central premise of the theory is that disorder operates on honest people and on the disorderly in different ways.’
      • ‘The primary premise of this theory is that although errors can occur within highly reliable organizations, they rarely do so.’
      • ‘It is the fundamental premise of the theory of evolution.’
      • ‘I would have called it a fine book were it not for disagreeing with its fundamental premise that men were inevitably opposed to women's advances.’
      • ‘The basic premise behind this book is that we have these ‘chance’ meetings with people, that are anything but chance.’
      • ‘The fundamental premise of the report is that violence is both predictable and preventable.’
      • ‘Does evidence from Japan challenge basic premises of current psychological theories?’
      • ‘Even if its fundamental premise is slightly flawed, the film manages to work to a great extent.’
      proposition, assumption, hypothesis, thesis, presupposition, postulation, postulate, supposition, presumption, surmise, conjecture, speculation, datum, argument, assertion, belief, thought
      View synonyms


Pronunciation: /prɪˈmʌɪz/
premise something on/upon
  • 1 Base an argument, theory, or undertaking on:

    ‘the reforms were premised on our findings’
    • ‘Having premised his freedom on the absolute rejection of the above ground, Daniel discovers his freedom in solitude to be more terrifying, if possible, than the terror of the fugitive.’
    • ‘The schemes are premised on procurement of cost-effective drugs in right quantities; selection of reliable suppliers; timely delivery; and achievement of lowest possible total cost.’
    • ‘Significantly, five of the six concurring justices premised their decision on the right of privacy.’
    • ‘At the beginning of his Memorial, the writer premises his argument on religious values.’
    • ‘Spenser, therefore, premised his attack on the jury system on his ethnological view of Irish society.’
    • ‘However, literary evaluations that fluctuate like fashions are premised on what is the latest: that is, whatever is new is good.’
    • ‘The problem is that the argument is premised on a falsehood.’
    • ‘The Court noted that Section 16 made it an offence for a licensee knowingly to harbour or suffer to remain on his premises any constable on duty.’
    • ‘But he cannot invoke this common-sense reason for setting aside history, for his entire theory is premised on the idea that justice is a matter of ‘history’ not ‘end states’.’
    • ‘The argument is premised on the assumption of formal equality of individuals.’
    1. 1.1 State or presuppose (something) as a premise:
      [with clause] ‘one school of thought premised that the cosmos is indestructible’
      • ‘In his concluding remarks, he rather defensively explains: ‘This book was always premised to be about my country, not about the Balkans or any other foreign country.’’
      • ‘Which is to say that on these premises it makes no sense to attribute consciousness to another human being at all.’
      • ‘In several obvious ways, the way John represented his interest premises the idea that fans are consumerists.’
      postulate, hypothesize, conjecture, posit, theorize, suppose, presuppose, surmise, assume, predicate, argue, state, assert
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    2. 1.2archaic State by way of introduction:
      ‘I will premise generally that I hate lecturing’


Late Middle English: from Old French premisse, from medieval Latin praemissa (propositio) (proposition) set in front, from Latin praemittere, from prae before + mittere send.