Definition of posit in English:



  • 1[with object] Assume as a fact; put forward as a basis of argument.

    ‘the Confucian view posits a perfectible human nature’
    [with clause] ‘he posited that the world economy is a system with its own particular equilibrium’
    • ‘He also posited a genetic basis for this when he was lecturing at Edinburgh.’
    • ‘Rather than see them as warrens of individual doctors and nurses, the new view posits them as complicated human and mechanical systems with small, undetected flaws that can make mistakes inevitable.’
    • ‘If the expressed wish for moving towards an other begins by asking whether one is allowed to move away from oneself, three facts are being posited at once.’
    • ‘Without such an emotional basis, I posit that there would be virtually no attempts to formulate ostensibly intellectual arguments against homosexuality.’
    • ‘Therefore, the only way to represent it is to posit different points of view and encourage the mind to move between these different perspectives.’
    • ‘The above arguments posit that fewer safeguard and control rules are expected in family-owned organizations.’
    • ‘This view posits the possibility of one divine reality under and beyond all religions, and often emphasizes the mystical path or the mutual pursuit of good works.’
    • ‘Neo-darwinian theory posits that the genetic basis for speciation is not qualitatively different from that underlying microevolutionary change within populations.’
    • ‘If one wants to use a god of the gaps argument, one can posit an intelligent cause as an alternative to any scientific theory.’
    • ‘He is a clever guy, positing that the fact that one thinks presupposes that one surely has a mind, but the existence of one's body is uncertain, because even a disembodied consciousness can imagine a physical form.’
    • ‘The argument of those who posit convergence is straightforward.’
    • ‘He bemoans the (well, let's posit it, anyway) fact that the Republicans have shifted to the right while the Democrats have stayed put.’
    • ‘An argument that might be posited against such treatment is the data requirements to conduct such tests.’
    • ‘Markoff has much to say about this, but perhaps his most significant argument posits that however angry the peasants were with the government, they had by the eighteenth century accepted its necessity.’
    • ‘The argument that she posits here - that the artists differ fundamentally in their visions of the artist's place in society and in their differing views of Christ - is a profound one.’
    • ‘Abrahamsen builds her argument by positing and skilfully exploring three key aspects of Africa's political economy that militate against the development of democracy.’
    • ‘In fact, considerable evidence posits that time travel is impossible, he said.’
    • ‘I decided to do a little field research to test said hypothesis, one I've in fact posited myself on occasion.’
    • ‘As soon as you let colonial architecture be a part of the vernacular then you have posited a sensible argument and can stop there.’
    • ‘The evolution of the Constitution is seen as a rhetorical tool with which to posit political arguments in favour of future change.’
    postulate, put forward, advance, propound, submit, predicate, hypothesize, take as a hypothesis, set forth, propose, pose, assert
    presuppose, assume, presume
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Base something on the truth of (a particular assumption)
      ‘these plots are posited on a false premise about women's nature as inferior’
      • ‘But the off-hand manner in which he posits a major attack on US soil ‘affecting’ the presidential election suggests he is merely echoing a common theme of discussions in the corridors of power of the American capital.’
      • ‘The Advocate General's remarks were posited on the basis that he was concerned with the question of the legitimate expectation of the recipient that the procedures had been complied with.’
      • ‘The first posits an attack on Washington, possibly the Capitol, which was believed to be the target of the 9/11 jet that crashed in Pennsylvania.’
      • ‘However, human rights monitors point out that the action of the Coalition forces and their presence in the country is posited on ending ‘uncivilised’ behaviour and installing a system of fairness and justice.’
      • ‘Well, I am not sure that I am prepared to posit a guess on that.’
      • ‘But how does the letter of comfort help on that because, as Mr Cowdery points out, it is posited on the footing that he has no engagement in this group of criminal activities?’
      • ‘Bear in mind that part of this policy is posited on the idea of it being said, that the detention is not punitive, that it is not designed as a deterrent.’
      • ‘Just as our daily reality is posited on many illusions, so is literature, which is, after all, only an aspect of this devious life.’
      • ‘One common portrait of the difference between the Chinese and Western traditions posits a radical incommensurability on the very nature of philosophical inquiry.’
      • ‘You seem to be positing your argument on the assumption that Weldon v Neal is engaged if, but only if, the material facts had been pleaded in a different legal category as applied to them.’
      • ‘You can see this big drama up in the first five seconds, then this, then that, then that, so it's writing by numbers, making films by numbers and I think a lot of books are posited on the same kit.’
  • 2[with object] Put in position; place.

    ‘the professor posits Cohen in his second category of poets’
    • ‘In a bid to find the best way to hold a public debate on the future of such issues as genetic modification of foods, the panel posited a range of imaginary products which modern biotechnology might be able to engineer.’
    • ‘The ideal speech situation posits a space in which uncoerced dialogue can take place free of distortion, in what Habermas refers to as action oriented towards mutual understanding.’
    • ‘The salient recommendations likely to be posited before the Government range from the noble to the strategic.’


  • A statement that is made on the assumption that it will prove to be true.

    • ‘The existence of deeply iterated sets, including the infinite ones, is a theoretical posit, supported by the upper tier of Maddy's epistemology.’
    • ‘He compares and contrasts the ontological commitments in western and African thought systems, and indicates that the theoretical posits in the two systems of thought are similar to one another.’
    • ‘Heidegger highlights that every posit inherently contains the absence of what it is not.’
    • ‘Aristotle divides posits into two types, definitions and hypotheses.’
    • ‘Lots to tear apart and disagree with, there, but it's a posit.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin posit- placed from the verb ponere.