Definition of presumption in English:



  • 1An idea that is taken to be true on the basis of probability.

    ‘underlying presumptions about human nature’
    • ‘Under such presumptions, institutional solutions based upon egalitarian principles were much more the norm and more forthcoming.’
    • ‘In practice, the process of negotiating safety can be complicated by underlying and often implicit presumptions about monogamy and fidelity.’
    • ‘By questioning underlying presumptions and conclusions they are creating a space in which to think about gender.’
    • ‘Now, efficient market theory rests on the presumption that owners care what the managers of their firms do, and will take action against incompetent managers.’
    • ‘With the overturning of existing criminal law restrictions, however, the basis for the presumption that abortions were done for health-related reasons has been eroded.’
    • ‘Currently, there are many serious developments, speculations about where the regime is heading, presumptions, and theories in circulation, as well as many explanations at work.’
    • ‘Probably the presumption was that, merely by picking such a child up and taking it home, a person assumed the role of its legal guardian.’
    • ‘Practitioner-held opinions are real, they reflect underlying presumptions and they can be articulated by individuals who practice advertising.’
    • ‘Zoning's underlying presumptions were also more aligned with an ideological shift in the planning profession during the 1920s.’
    • ‘Many of us are highly educated and your presumptions are most insulting.’
    • ‘The idea rested on two presumptions: one was the strength of defensive firepower and the other was the significance of the terrain being held.’
    • ‘The notion of escape from the present is ubiquitous in these works, consistent with the presumption underlying the idea of Utopia as a place of retreat from the present world.’
    • ‘We will have changed the presumption from the idea that the Internet is not regulated to one that it is regulated.’
    • ‘But it just goes to show how fallible presumptions and assumptions can be.’
    • ‘Valerie is blinded by her presumptions to the true answers to any of these questions.’
    • ‘But, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, there are clear connecting threads that identify the underlying ideological presumptions.’
    • ‘Moira is a woman of firm opinions who is not impressed with masculine presumptions.’
    • ‘We never pass a door, we make no assumptions or presumptions, we always ask for a vote.’
    • ‘It's probably foolish to make presumptions about a relationship after spending only 90 minutes with a couple, but here goes.’
    • ‘This would not work if society was more conscious of the way research is changing many of our notions and presumptions.’
    1. 1.1mass noun The acceptance of something as true although it is not known for certain.
      ‘the presumption of innocence’
      • ‘Both in disciplinary law and in civil law the presumption of competence must prevail.’
      • ‘As the transaction was for valuable consideration, there is no presumption of mala fides.’
      • ‘Both have said they are making no presumption about whether he is guilty or innocent - but are concerned he has been held for so long with no charge.’
      • ‘Knowing the difference between assumption and deduction, and between presumption and proof, can alter one's outlook and transform an electorate.’
      • ‘This is only true, however, if in mandating administrative detention one turns the presumption of innocence on its head.’
      • ‘It is as if it has no real value outside the ‘original context’ and that is a very false presumption.’
      • ‘What ever happened to the hoary but irrebuttable common law presumption of legitimacy for children born within marriage?’
      • ‘So does it come to this, that the assumption of validity or presumption of validity - whichever expression is preferable - is not determinative?’
      • ‘The reflexive hostility that some of his defenders have shown toward his accuser therefore exhibits no fidelity to the presumption of innocence.’
      • ‘I have been responding to my learned friend's submission that there was, in a sense, a presumption of concurrency which could be read into this legislation.’
      • ‘My own personal presumption is innocence until proven guilty.’
      • ‘It is at this point that the requirement of substantial grounds for a disqualifying apprehension of bias and the strong presumption of judicial impartiality are applicable.’
      • ‘Still, much like her counterparts today, she must contend with a presumption of male privilege.’
      • ‘An expert is not in any special position and there is no presumption of belief in a doctor however distinguished he or she may be.’
      • ‘That means we defend a winding-up application with no presumption of insolvency.’
      • ‘Clearly if a presumption of undue influence is successfully raised the bank will find it almost impossible to rebut in the light of Peter's deception.’
      • ‘In the Western liberal legal tradition, the rule of law also entails the presumption of innocence, litigation under the adversary system, and the ideal of a government by laws, rather than by persons.’
      • ‘Presumption of innocence relates to charges in criminal proceedings, and that presumption of innocence applies.’
      • ‘Now there's a very strong presumption that they must get a sentence for public protection, which is in fact life.’
      • ‘The presumption that everyone in Brisbane follows the Broncos is nonsense… and the number of Bulldogs fans at Lang Park last Sunday surely confirm that.’
      • ‘But that necessarily follows from the theory that the defamation created a presumption of malice and the privilege then destroyed that malice.’
      • ‘So stated the test is less onerous than for the presumption of undue influence as between the spouses themselves.’
      • ‘I venture to think, however, that when he cast the onus on the purchaser, he had in mind no more than that the facts would give rise to an evidential presumption of wrongdoing.’
      • ‘In London a spokesman for the Lord Chancellor's office said family law cases in England and Wales were generally heard in camera, although there was no presumption that they had to be.’
      • ‘This is so because the expiry of a limitation period raises a presumption of prejudice suffered by the defendants.’
      • ‘In a disappointing development for women's groups, the proposals on rape will not affect the burden of proof or the presumption of the defendant's innocence.’
      • ‘The presumption is that everyone who is required to appear before a tribunal has their costs paid by the state, whether there is a finding against them or not.’
      • ‘The presumption must be that anyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.’
      • ‘Apparently the act of binding the baby tightly to itself in strips of fabric is reassuring for babies, although the evidence for this seems to lie more in presumption than science.’
      • ‘In the view of the Greens, that presumption cannot be justified.’
      • ‘The judges, having to face the problem of what would be the circumstances in which the presumption of malice would be negatived, went on two lines, duty and interest and the public good and for the public interest.’
      supposition, presupposition, premise, belief, expectation, conjecture, speculation, surmise, guess, theory, hypothesis, postulation, conclusion, deduction, inference, thought, suspicion, notion, impression, fancy
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    2. 1.2Law An attitude adopted in law or as a matter of policy towards an action or proposal in the absence of acceptable reasons to the contrary.
      ‘the planning policy shows a general presumption in favour of development’
      • ‘I would reject the submission that there should be a presumption in favour of the custodial parent in applications to vary custody and access resulting from relocation of the custodial parent.’
      • ‘In other words, once the precondition set out in section 13 is satisfied, there is a presumption in favour of referral.’
      • ‘The general presumption in favour of the truth of belief serves to rescue us from a standard form of scepticism by showing why it is impossible for all our beliefs to be false together.’
      • ‘There was a presumption in favour of freedom of expression, which was a primary right in a democracy.’
      • ‘The weight to be given to the presumption in favour of life when interpreting advance decisions will remain uncertain until more cases have been decided.’
      • ‘Under state and federal ‘counter-terrorism’ laws, the traditional presumption in favour of bail has been scrapped.’
      • ‘Such a decision, especially today, requires extraordinarily strong reasons for overriding the presumption in favor of peace and against war.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, it does create a presumption in favour of conservation and long-term sustainability, and the parties must apply it accordingly.’
      • ‘It is not right to say that there is a presumption in favour of reinstatement with the burden on the defendant to show that it would not be reasonable.’
      • ‘Regulation 24 creates a presumption in favour of no order for costs.’
      • ‘The site lies within the urban area and the appellant states that there is therefore a presumption in favour of development.’
      • ‘There is a very strong national policy presumption in favour of its restoration.’
      • ‘However, there is a presumption in favour of the right of States to enter reservations unless the instrument expressly states to the contrary.’
      • ‘However, at paragraphs 9 and 10 the inspector introduced an evidential presumption in favour of the map.’
      • ‘I do not think that it is helpful in this context, therefore, to regard the presumption in favour of the development plan as a governing or paramount one.’
      • ‘There is, therefore, a presumption in favour of the appeal proposal under S54A unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.’
      • ‘The chief reason to reject this view is the presumption in favour of equal consideration.’
      • ‘Even in regard to criminal statutes the presumption in favour of strict construction is nowadays rarely applied.’
      • ‘The inquiry does not begin with a legal presumption in favour of the custodial parent, although the custodial parent's views are entitled to great respect.’
      • ‘Labor will also make it more difficult for repeat offenders to get bail, no matter how minor the offence, by overturning the presumption in favour of bail.’
      assumption, supposition, presupposition, belief, thought, guess, expectation, judgement, surmise, conjecture, speculation, hypothesis, postulation, premise, generalization, inference, deduction, conclusion
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  • 2mass noun Behaviour perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.

    ‘he lifted her off the ground, and she was enraged at his presumption’
    • ‘Those kids worked to get where they are, remember, and modern educational theory won't stand for that sort of upstart presumption.’
    • ‘That is arrogant presumption to insist that some authors and works deserve to be declared meritorious as a matter of fairness.’
    • ‘Of all the arrogant presumption, to look down at someone who had suffered and achieved as he had…’
    • ‘Even in this day and age, presumption and self-importance have their limits!’
    • ‘It would have been the height of arrogance, presumption, everything my mother specifically taught me not to do.’
    • ‘A breathtaking and galling presumption - after all that we have gone through this last decade or so.’
    • ‘I can't convince people there is a God and I really have no desire to, except in moments of arrogant presumption that somehow my knowledge is better than that of others.’
    • ‘It is one thing to seek to excuse Machiavelli's cynicism and cruelty on the grounds that he was a man of his time - a victim as well as an architect of Renaissance arrogance and presumption.’
    • ‘I find fault with this presumption; it disrespects the chasm.’
    • ‘An article here sums up pretty well my own response to such outrageous presumption.’
    • ‘Which will probably teach me something about arrogance and presumption.’
    • ‘Your arrogance, presumption, and ego come through very clearly in this message.’
    • ‘I assume my reputation for arrogant presumption precedes me, so I'll be anything but brief.’
    brazenness, audacity, boldness, audaciousness, temerity, arrogance, egotism, front, presumptuousness, pertness, forwardness
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Middle English: from Old French presumpcion, from Latin praesumptio(n-) ‘anticipation’, from the verb praesumere (see presume).