Definition of presumption in English:



  • 1An idea that is taken to be true, and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.

    ‘underlying presumptions about human nature’
    • ‘Zoning's underlying presumptions were also more aligned with an ideological shift in the planning profession during the 1920s.’
    • ‘The idea rested on two presumptions: one was the strength of defensive firepower and the other was the significance of the terrain being held.’
    • ‘Valerie is blinded by her presumptions to the true answers to any of these questions.’
    • ‘Many of us are highly educated and your presumptions are most insulting.’
    • ‘Under such presumptions, institutional solutions based upon egalitarian principles were much more the norm and more forthcoming.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Practitioner-held opinions are real, they reflect underlying presumptions and they can be articulated by individuals who practice advertising.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By questioning underlying presumptions and conclusions they are creating a space in which to think about gender.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But it just goes to show how fallible presumptions and assumptions can be.’
    • ‘In practice, the process of negotiating safety can be complicated by underlying and often implicit presumptions about monogamy and fidelity.’
    • ‘We never pass a door, we make no assumptions or presumptions, we always ask for a vote.’
    • ‘We will have changed the presumption from the idea that the Internet is not regulated to one that it is regulated.’
    • ‘Moira is a woman of firm opinions who is not impressed with masculine presumptions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, there are clear connecting threads that identify the underlying ideological presumptions.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 An act or instance of taking something to be true or adopting a particular attitude toward something, especially at the start of a chain of argument or action.
      ‘the presumption of guilt has changed to a presumption of innocence’
      • ‘That means we defend a winding-up application with no presumption of insolvency.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Presumption of innocence relates to charges in criminal proceedings, and that presumption of innocence applies.’
      • ‘Still, much like her counterparts today, she must contend with a presumption of male privilege.’
      • ‘This is so because the expiry of a limitation period raises a presumption of prejudice suffered by the defendants.’
      • ‘Both in disciplinary law and in civil law the presumption of competence must prevail.’
      • ‘The reflexive hostility that some of his defenders have shown toward his accuser therefore exhibits no fidelity to the presumption of innocence.’
      • ‘But that necessarily follows from the theory that the defamation created a presumption of malice and the privilege then destroyed that malice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the transaction was for valuable consideration, there is no presumption of mala fides.’
      • ‘This is only true, however, if in mandating administrative detention one turns the presumption of innocence on its head.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      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 toward an action or proposal in the absence of acceptable reasons to the contrary.
      ‘the planning policy shows a general presumption in favor of development’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Under state and federal ‘counter-terrorism’ laws, the traditional presumption in favour of bail has been scrapped.’
      • ‘The chief reason to reject this view is the presumption in favour of equal consideration.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, it does create a presumption in favour of conservation and long-term sustainability, and the parties must apply it accordingly.’
      • ‘However, there is a presumption in favour of the right of States to enter reservations unless the instrument expressly states to the contrary.’
      • ‘Such a decision, especially today, requires extraordinarily strong reasons for overriding the presumption in favor of peace and against war.’
      • ‘However, at paragraphs 9 and 10 the inspector introduced an evidential presumption in favour of the map.’
      • ‘There is, therefore, a presumption in favour of the appeal proposal under S54A unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.’
      • ‘Even in regard to criminal statutes the presumption in favour of strict construction is nowadays rarely applied.’
      • ‘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 was a presumption in favour of freedom of expression, which was a primary right in a democracy.’
      • ‘There is a very strong national policy presumption in favour of its restoration.’
      • ‘In other words, once the precondition set out in section 13 is satisfied, there is a presumption in favour of referral.’
      • ‘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.’
      assumption, supposition, presupposition, belief, thought, guess, expectation, judgement, surmise, conjecture, speculation, hypothesis, postulation, premise, generalization, inference, deduction, conclusion
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  • 2Behavior 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’
    • ‘A breathtaking and galling presumption - after all that we have gone through this last decade or so.’
    • ‘An article here sums up pretty well my own response to such outrageous presumption.’
    • ‘Of all the arrogant presumption, to look down at someone who had suffered and achieved as he had…’
    • ‘Those kids worked to get where they are, remember, and modern educational theory won't stand for that sort of upstart presumption.’
    • ‘I assume my reputation for arrogant presumption precedes me, so I'll be anything but brief.’
    • ‘That is arrogant presumption to insist that some authors and works deserve to be declared meritorious as a matter of fairness.’
    • ‘Even in this day and age, presumption and self-importance have their limits!’
    • ‘Which will probably teach me something about arrogance and presumption.’
    • ‘It would have been the height of arrogance, presumption, everything my mother specifically taught me not to do.’
    • ‘Your arrogance, presumption, and ego come through very clearly in this message.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘I find fault with this presumption; it disrespects the chasm.’
    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).