Definition of presuppose in English:



[with object]
  • 1Require as a precondition of possibility or coherence.

    ‘their original prediction presupposed a universe only three billion years old’
    • ‘Mental predicates therefore presuppose the mentality that creates them: mentality cannot consist simply in the applicability of the predicates themselves.’
    • ‘Protest, however, also presupposed the possibility of improving one's condition by exerting pressure.’
    • ‘Therefore, its operation in these markets presupposes an institutional framework that makes this operation possible.’
    • ‘The traditional doctrine of the fall presupposed an original state of innocence for the human race.’
    • ‘Needless to say, a consumer boom predicated on mortgage refinancing presupposes an ongoing ability to service one's mortgage.’
    • ‘But individuality and distinctiveness presuppose coherence and unity: without them, nothing can stand on its own as an object either of admiration or contempt.’
    • ‘The embrace of ethnic origin presupposes a source culture eager to be embraced, or one that is malleable enough for the author's fancy.’
    • ‘Such exercises end up presupposing a continuity when it is almost certainly more productive to look for breaks.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, our very procedure, in deriving therefrom a lawlike description of the infinite modes, presupposes the possibility of a deductive science.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have tried to present Kant's thought in a modern idiom, while presupposing the least possible knowledge of philosophy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The guidelines for human behavior that have their source in the Bible presuppose universal applicability.’
    • ‘They may indeed show that one can construct Frankfurt-type examples that explicitly presuppose indeterminism in which there are no alternative possibilities.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Such an argument would have to presuppose that there is somehow something wrong with being gay.’
      • ‘I think the basis of the argument presupposes what the film is ‘trying to say’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This of course presupposed that they were properly regulated so as to indemnify the public for the franchises which the utilities had been granted.’
      • ‘This argument presupposes that rational individuals either cannot, or do not, act in their own best interests.’
      • ‘Your argument seems to presuppose that it does.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Feminist theory, consistently and misguidedly, presupposes that, at some level or other, all power relationships involving men are evil.’
      • ‘This argument presupposes a consensus on the nature of the international crimes we have just questioned.’
      • ‘Of course, higher cash compensation also presupposes that these companies have prosperous, growing businesses.’
      • ‘What this presupposes, of course, is that men and women are subject to different moralities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We do not, of course, presuppose that nowhere ever is there a failure of, say, vision.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Such an argument presupposes that the owner operates hands-off.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Harm reduction presupposes that addicts are rational individuals who engage in destructive behaviours only when forced to by legal and social sanctions.’
      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).