Definition of proposition in English:

proposition

noun

  • 1A statement or assertion that expresses a judgement or opinion.

    ‘the proposition that high taxation is undesirable’
    • ‘The authors offer some propositions which I take to be logically flawed.’
    • ‘I don't know that it's a slam dunk that this proposition is particularly sound.’
    • ‘The guy pauses a moment, then grants that this proposition seems doubtful.’
    • ‘You're saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable, and that is not an acceptable proposition.’
    • ‘He uses his exploration of these long-forgotten characters and their arcane quarrels to advance three propositions.’
    • ‘The responses of those 41% are consistent with the central proposition of this article.’
    • ‘There is authority for the proposition that a wrong opinion is both unreasonable and capable of constituting a flagrant impropriety.’
    • ‘Now, you know, in my opinion, it's an absurd proposition.’
    • ‘Rather than testing the effectiveness of a theory in clinical practice, basic research tests the validity of the propositions of the theory.’
    • ‘I do not agree with the propositions of the member.’
    • ‘Mindful of this caution, it is, nevertheless, possible to advance the following propositions.’
    • ‘Against that, the following propositions can shortly be advanced.’
    • ‘Even then, it is not the easiest proposition to grasp.’
    • ‘Yet, surprisingly, there is little empirical evidence for this proposition.’
    • ‘I do not accept the propositions involved in that.’
    • ‘Without a much more thorough linkage between theory and fact, the book's central historical and theoretical propositions must be viewed as unproven.’
    • ‘The result has been a number of studies that have tested many of his core assumptions and propositions.’
    • ‘On my view, to believe something is to hold a proposition in your mind assertively.’
    • ‘He goes on to cite a number of experts to support this proposition, including some of the smartest guys in the field of national security and force structure.’
    • ‘The mischievous core of her opinion lies in the proposition that ‘diversity’ is a compelling government interest.’
    theory, hypothesis, thesis, argument, premise, postulation, theorem, concept, idea, statement
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    1. 1.1Logic A statement that expresses a concept that can be true or false.
      • ‘Mathematical formulas and sentences do not express true or false propositions about any subject-matter.’
      • ‘There is a very important distinction between propositions that are true and propositions that are false.’
      • ‘We have to use the theory of probability when we do not know whether a proposition is true or false.’
      • ‘The conjunction of a true and a false proposition is a false proposition.’
      • ‘But this is an empirical proposition, and there is reason to doubt it.’
    2. 1.2Mathematics A formal statement of a theorem or problem, typically including the demonstration.
      • ‘Book One discusses his laws of motion then proceeds to a series of propositions, theorems and problems.’
      • ‘For example, Spinoza's Ethics has the same format as Euclid's Elements, containing propositions and demonstrations.’
      • ‘This second commentary is on al-Samarqandi's famous short work of only 20 pages in which he discusses thirty-five of Euclid's propositions.’
      • ‘In 1934 Gödel gave a series of lectures at Princeton entitled On undecidable propositions of formal mathematical systems.’
      • ‘Theoretical propositions and recommendations were used in various conditions.’
  • 2A suggested scheme or plan of action, especially in a business context.

    ‘a detailed investment proposition’
    • ‘I have looked at this as a business proposition.’
    • ‘Our leading article in the same edition condemned the supermarket proposal and suggested that such a proposition would be better suited to a redeveloped Myrtle Walk.’
    • ‘She also approaches businesses with propositions for aid in all forms.’
    • ‘And he also told an Edinburgh audience that there were immense business propositions if nations were prepared to work together.’
    • ‘Let me be clear: As a business proposition, consolidation makes sense.’
    • ‘A magazine is a business proposition, and ads pay for the magazine.’
    • ‘The right proposition offered to well-targeted customers will bring more success.’
    • ‘If you are coming to it fresh, take in your proposition and the business plan, and take it from there.’
    • ‘As soon as some people view you as successful they offer you one of the dumbest business propositions ever.’
    • ‘According to the hotel authorities, the pool is a business proposition and a health choice, both of which have become non-negotiable for many a discerning customer.’
    • ‘It's about building a business and a value proposition.’
    • ‘As part of our revised proposition, we are offering to create a new and safer parking area, in line with the surgery's needs.’
    • ‘My mother sometimes served my fudge ice cream at her dinner parties, and one of the guests was so impressed she called me the next day - not just to congratulate me, but with a business proposition.’
    • ‘Could the reason perhaps have been that general opinion was very much against the proposition?’
    • ‘What I don't understand is, if it is not a viable proposition to expand my business, how come so many new establishments are opening almost daily?’
    • ‘Investing in a club should not be viewed as a business proposition, merely an emotional investment.’
    • ‘Gone are the days of 1999 to 2001 when certain business propositions were funded at valuations based on overoptimistic revenue streams.’
    • ‘The exhibition aims at popularising horticulture and related activities as viable business propositions.’
    • ‘At the end of the day it is a business proposition for the company.’
    • ‘Every organization offers a value proposition that says, in effect: We will deliver something of value to you at a specified price.’
    proposal, scheme, plan, project, programme, manifesto, motion, bid, presentation, submission, suggestion, recommendation, approach
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    1. 2.1US A constitutional proposal; a bill.
      ‘Californian voters rejected by a two-to-one majority proposition 128’
      • ‘The problem is that when those amendments come fast and late, it is difficult for the officials to immediately recognise the burden of the argument and the strength of the propositions.’
      • ‘The Law of Proportionate Belief states that one should believe in a certain proposition or policy prescription in proportion to the arguments for that position.’
      • ‘Such a proposition would involve putting an unwarranted gloss on the language of section 29 of the Act of 1971.’
      • ‘That is totally different from the proposition just made by the leader of the National Party.’
      • ‘The proposition was deemed unconstitutional and was not implemented.’
      • ‘Californians may choose to take this step on Nov.2, however they also have a proposition on the ballot that would be a step in the other direction.’
      • ‘As written, the proposition is overly broad and might have vicious unintended consequences the Legislature didn't foresee.’
      • ‘Obviously they didn't watch the press conference where we announced this proposition.’
      • ‘Three reactionary propositions are on the ballot in the March 7 California primary election.’
      • ‘Yes, but those propositions are themselves propositions of constitutional law, are they not?’
      • ‘The proposition being advanced to members of this House is an assumption that the law is unchanging.’
      • ‘At the select committee a proposition was put to the submitters, which were all the territorial local authorities in the Auckland region - all eight of them.’
      • ‘The propositions garnered majority support in every county in the state with the exception of San Francisco and four counties in rural Northern California.’
      • ‘It was stated that contentious propositions are often highly offensive to the public in general.’
      • ‘That member has put up the same proposition three times.’
      • ‘I have a list of those who made proposals to the draft proposition.’
      • ‘Even if one considered this legislation a reasonable proposition, which the Government proclaims and National supports, the reality is that it is only a small step.’
      • ‘The committee will have a much more thorough look at the propositions being put forward in this bill.’
      • ‘Voters responded overwhelmingly, carrying the proposition into law by a margin of nearly 20 percent.’
      • ‘As a consequence, we believe that the bill has continued to evolve into a workable proposition and a good piece of legislation.’
    2. 2.2informal An offer of sexual intercourse made to a person with whom one is not involved, especially one that is made in an unsubtle way.
      ‘needless to say, she refused his frank sexual proposition’
      • ‘James watched her leave and thought over the proposition Veronica had offered to him.’
      • ‘Two pages of the book deal with a sexual proposition, including hints at oral sex.’
      • ‘It suddenly occurred to her why Kyle had offered the proposition in the first place.’
      • ‘After winning a local rodeo a college friend of her brother offers her a proposition she can't refuse.’
      • ‘Today, it seems users barely bat an eye when greeted with propositions for ‘raw’ sex.’
      • ‘Unfortunately Michelle mistakes Jim's fumbling proposal of marriage at a posh restaurant as a sexual proposition.’
      • ‘Half those guys are introducing propositions involving bathrooms and back-alleys.’
      sexual advance, sexual overture, indecent proposal, improper suggestion, soliciting
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  • 3with adjective A project, task, idea, etc. considered in terms of its likely success or difficulty.

    ‘setting up your own business can seem an attractive proposition’
    • ‘Investments that rely on the misfortune of others or the good will of sharks are a losing proposition in the long term, whatever the quarterly earnings report says.’
    • ‘A much more difficult proposition was to overlook the hard evidence of official government documents.’
    • ‘A ‘no bid’ handed to you on a plate contract is a pretty attractive proposition.’
    • ‘At first blush, that would seem a preposterous proposition.’
    • ‘But I'd at least suggest that ‘getting’ someone to love you is a losing proposition.’
    • ‘Ultimately, that's a losing proposition in the long term.’
    • ‘Step up the difficulty level, and it becomes a slightly more difficult proposition, but still not too challenging.’
    • ‘Deciding which is worse - prolonged oppression or relatively short burst of violence leading to liberation - is an immensely difficult proposition.’
    • ‘And if the club still owned its own ground it would also be a much more attractive proposition to would-be owners.’
    • ‘It is a very difficult proposition, as she has no idea who this guy is.’
    • ‘Buying presents for girls is a very difficult proposition indeed.’
    • ‘As I've said, this is bound to be a difficult proposition given the success of science.’
    • ‘It appeared an attractive and interesting proposition.’
    • ‘Over time, markets have always demonstrated a wonderful resiliency that makes being a bear a long-term losing proposition.’
    • ‘And the thought that I couldn't possibly manage without some bloke to wash socks for really didn't seem a very attractive proposition.’
    • ‘Giving up alcohol might prove a trickier long-term proposition, although he has, for the first time in his life, admitted that he has been seeing an alcohol counsellor.’
    • ‘His most recent deal is designed to make the combined company a more attractive proposition for investors in terms of size and product offering.’
    • ‘The theory is that right-handed competitors are less accustomed to facing left-handers, making them a more difficult proposition.’
    • ‘It is a risky proposition under any circumstances, and sometimes it doesn't last.’
    • ‘And of course it's popular - with its ample helpings of eggs, bacon, steak and cream, it's bound to be a more attractive proposition than its rival, the cabbage soup diet.’
    task, job, undertaking, venture, activity, problem, affair
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verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1Make a suggestion of sexual intercourse to (someone), especially in an unsubtle way.

    ‘she had been propositioned at the party by a subeditor with bad breath’
    • ‘Jacob looked into my eyes as if he were propositioning me to go back to his place.’
    • ‘Then, he commenced to begin propositioning a whore in a profane courtship that last an hour or so until Rupert dragged him out.’
    • ‘Prostitutes have been propositioning customers and begging for money.’
    • ‘Some men whom he had propositioned sexually refused to be interviewed, either on or off the record.’
    • ‘She spoke of how her immediate boss propositioned her and sexually harassed her.’
    • ‘‘He's propositioned every girl in our class at least once,’ she blurted out.’
    • ‘The problems of managing sexuality were also at the heart of her street-corner research with prostitutes, punters, and the police - though she was as likely to be spat on by other women as she was propositioned by men.’
    • ‘The five are charged with propositioning men and then pretending to be police officers, handcuffing the men, and then robbing them.’
    • ‘Then two years later, her boss propositions her again.’
    • ‘How was I supposed to know she was propositioning me?’
    • ‘The features tell us if that person is a threat, if they are sexually propositioning us, cowering before us or merely sleeping.’
    • ‘The oft-cited fact that he had ‘a wife and child at home’ when he was propositioning women is not relevant to sexual harassment.’
    • ‘All through high school and even college, she had men propositioning her.’
    • ‘In the excruciating moment when we finally see him propositioning the girl, the look on his face reveals a man absolutely broken by his temptation.’
    • ‘I nearly stumbled into a well-hidden traveller's camp and, on my way home, I was propositioned by a rent-boy.’
    • ‘In the one reported staff incident, a male officer subtly propositioned the woman.’
    • ‘But even in my close company, she was propositioned several times!’
    • ‘Oh don't worry - I'm not propositioning you on your wedding day, I'm just complimenting you and being honest.’
    • ‘Bryce saw her walking down the steps, and thought of the French-Canadian girl, who had all but propositioned him the last time they had worked together.’
    • ‘She said prostitutes propositioned builders who were working on her house.’
    propose sex with, make sexual advances to, make sexual overtures to, make an indecent proposal to, make an improper suggestion to
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    1. 1.1 Make an offer or suggestion to.
      ‘I was propositioned by the editor about becoming film critic of the paper’
      • ‘As a publisher, it propositions me all the time to buy names.’

Phrases

  • not a proposition

    • Unlikely to succeed; not a viable option.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from Latin propositio(n-), from the verb proponere (see propound).

Pronunciation

proposition

/prɒpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/