Definition of presuppose in English:



  • 1Require as a precondition of possibility or coherence.

    ‘their original prediction presupposed a universe only three billion years old’
    • ‘The embrace of ethnic origin presupposes a source culture eager to be embraced, or one that is malleable enough for the author's fancy.’
    • ‘They may indeed show that one can construct Frankfurt-type examples that explicitly presuppose indeterminism in which there are no alternative possibilities.’
    • ‘Rather, the coherence of set theory is presupposed by much of the foundational activity in contemporary mathematics.’
    • ‘How can we at the same time be dutiful and unjust, since duty presupposes justice - indeed duty is justice itself, in the form of requirement and obligation.’
    • ‘The buyer also should estimate the expected years of truck service, which requires presupposing what the company will be doing five or more years down the road.’
    • ‘The guidelines for human behavior that have their source in the Bible presuppose universal applicability.’
    • ‘I have tried to present Kant's thought in a modern idiom, while presupposing the least possible knowledge of philosophy.’
    • ‘Since the reverse is not true (actuality does not in the same way presuppose potentiality), an actuality is prior in definition to its correlative potentiality.’
    • ‘Needless to say, a consumer boom predicated on mortgage refinancing presupposes an ongoing ability to service one's mortgage.’
    • ‘The traditional doctrine of the fall presupposed an original state of innocence for the human race.’
    • ‘Nor is it possible without presupposing knowledge of the external world since triangulation involves each person recognising that they occupy spaces in a shared world.’
    • ‘Therefore, its operation in these markets presupposes an institutional framework that makes this operation possible.’
    • ‘Mental predicates therefore presuppose the mentality that creates them: mentality cannot consist simply in the applicability of the predicates themselves.’
    • ‘Now it was our duty to promote the highest good; and it is not merely our privilege but a necessity connected with duty as a requisite to presuppose the possibility of this highest good.’
    • ‘Such exercises end up presupposing a continuity when it is almost certainly more productive to look for breaks.’
    • ‘Protest, however, also presupposed the possibility of improving one's condition by exerting pressure.’
    • ‘Reason, according to Mead, is the search for causal continuity in experience and, in fact, must presuppose such continuity in its attempt to construct a coherent account of reality.’
    • ‘These presuppose a reference mass consisting of all possible instances and their use can be interpreted, under appropriate circumstances, to entail a ‘universal’ statement about all instances.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, our very procedure, in deriving therefrom a lawlike description of the infinite modes, presupposes the possibility of a deductive science.’
    • ‘But individuality and distinctiveness presuppose coherence and unity: without them, nothing can stand on its own as an object either of admiration or contempt.’
    require, necessitate, imply, entail, mean, involve, assume, suppose, have as a necessary condition, have as a precondition
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    1. 1.1with clause Tacitly assume at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action that something is the case.
      ‘your argument presupposes that it does not matter who is in power’
      • ‘What's happened is a disaster all right, but to say that it's a failure presupposes that the plan was to use all available civil and military forces to deliver relief, and that this plan failed.’
      • ‘And why can't we let patients make an informed choice based on the data, rather than paternalistically presupposing that all humans are incipient dope fiends?’
      • ‘Your argument seems to presuppose that it does.’
      • ‘This of course presupposed that they were properly regulated so as to indemnify the public for the franchises which the utilities had been granted.’
      • ‘Of course, higher cash compensation also presupposes that these companies have prosperous, growing businesses.’
      • ‘Feminist theory, consistently and misguidedly, presupposes that, at some level or other, all power relationships involving men are evil.’
      • ‘This, of course, presupposes that free will exists.’
      • ‘Meeting this challenge with street kids, of course, presupposes that a rapport and trust can be established.’
      • ‘This argument presupposes that rational individuals either cannot, or do not, act in their own best interests.’
      • ‘Such an argument would have to presuppose that there is somehow something wrong with being gay.’
      • ‘We do not, of course, presuppose that nowhere ever is there a failure of, say, vision.’
      • ‘This argument presupposes a consensus on the nature of the international crimes we have just questioned.’
      • ‘I think the basis of the argument presupposes what the film is ‘trying to say’.’
      • ‘That of course presupposes that there was any basis for asking direct questions of the claimant at discharge, and in my view there was not.’
      • ‘What this presupposes, of course, is that men and women are subject to different moralities.’
      • ‘At the same time, to adopt such a course must surely be to presuppose that there is a genuine issue regarding the reality of what is thus accepted.’
      • ‘Harm reduction presupposes that addicts are rational individuals who engage in destructive behaviours only when forced to by legal and social sanctions.’
      • ‘But, of course, it does not presuppose that all speakers understand the word this way, only that they can if they think about it in a certain (fairly common) way.’
      • ‘Such an argument presupposes that the owner operates hands-off.’
      • ‘But both presuppose that the only proper purpose or consideration of a final bonus is the return of the capital value of the asset share of the policy-holder.’
      presume, assume, take it for granted, take it, take it as given, take it as read, suppose, surmise, think, accept, consider, postulate, posit
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Late Middle English: from Old French presupposer, suggested by medieval Latin praesupponere, from prae ‘before’ + supponere ‘place under’ (see suppose).