Definition of presumptive in US English:



  • 1Of the nature of a presumption; presumed in the absence of further information.

    ‘a presumptive diagnosis’
    • ‘Esophagram and manometry confirmed the presumptive diagnosis of achalasia.’
    • ‘If the patient has a beta-hCG of > 6000 mIU / ml and there is no intrauterine gestational sac seen, it is presumptive evidence of an ectopic pregnancy.’
    • ‘They were transferred to our neonatal intensive care unit with a presumptive diagnosis of perinatal asphyxia.’
    • ‘If physicians have not concurrently screened for chlamydial infection, the CDC recommends presumptive treatment for chlamydia at the time of treatment for gonorrhea.’
    • ‘This method provides a presumptive indication of Brucella growth at least four days earlier than the conventional identification method.’
    • ‘Many physicians make a presumptive diagnosis of allergic rhinitis based on the medical history.’
    • ‘The angulated and rhomboidal shape in addition to the striated surface of the sporangiospores allowed the presumptive identification of the etiologic agent as Rhizopus species.’
    • ‘If no answer had been provided immediately, presumptive broad-spectrum therapy may have been continued until a result was returned.’
    • ‘Therefore, Immunocomb can only be used as a presumptive test; confirmatory diagnosis must include combination of tests, rather than deriving inference on the basis of single test results.’
    • ‘She was admitted to the intensive care unit with the presumptive diagnosis of septic shock.’
    • ‘Some 50% of antibiotic prescription in the community is for presumptive respiratory tract infection.’
    • ‘He was discharged the following afternoon with a presumptive diagnosis of vasovagal syncope, perhaps related to defecation.’
    • ‘A second diagnostic indication involves the injection of a local anesthetic to confirm the presumptive diagnosis through symptom relief of the affected body part.’
    • ‘However, its value in confirming a diagnosis of presumptive endometriosis has not been extensively studied.’
    • ‘Using commonly recognized test end points, a presumptive diagnosis was made in 57 patients.’
    • ‘The presumptive diagnosis is made based on history and physical examination, but further evaluation is needed.’
    • ‘This is presumptive evidence of chronic hemolysis if the reticulocytosis is sustained.’
    conjectural, speculative, tentative, suppositional, notional, hypothetical
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law Giving grounds for the inference of a fact or of the appropriate interpretation of the law.
      • ‘The Freedom of Information Act set the ground rules for, and establishes a presumptive right of, access to unpublished records of executive agencies by any person, regardless of citizenship.’
      • ‘Thus, engaging in the lawful activities of a group designated as a ‘terrorist organization’ by the Attorney General could be presumptive grounds for expatriation.’
      • ‘In Accounting Research Bulletin No.9 it was stated that any expenditure which is properly applicable to the future is presumptive grounds for carrying the balance forward.’
    2. 1.2
      another term for presumptuous
      • ‘As a mere associate member, now forced to work outside physics, perhaps it is presumptive of me to attempt to discuss these problems.’


Late Middle English: from French présomptif, -ive, from late Latin praesumptivus, from praesumpt- ‘taken before’, from the verb praesumere (see presume).