Definition of proposition in US English:

proposition

noun

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

    ‘the proposition that all men are created equal’
    • ‘The guy pauses a moment, then grants that this proposition seems doubtful.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mindful of this caution, it is, nevertheless, possible to advance the following propositions.’
    • ‘Yet, surprisingly, there is little empirical evidence for this proposition.’
    • ‘Now, you know, in my opinion, it's an absurd proposition.’
    • ‘Against that, the following propositions can shortly be advanced.’
    • ‘There is authority for the proposition that a wrong opinion is both unreasonable and capable of constituting a flagrant impropriety.’
    • ‘I do not agree with the propositions of the member.’
    • ‘Even then, it is not the easiest proposition to grasp.’
    • ‘The mischievous core of her opinion lies in the proposition that ‘diversity’ is a compelling government interest.’
    • ‘He uses his exploration of these long-forgotten characters and their arcane quarrels to advance three propositions.’
    • ‘Without a much more thorough linkage between theory and fact, the book's central historical and theoretical propositions must be viewed as unproven.’
    • ‘You're saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable, and that is not an acceptable proposition.’
    • ‘The responses of those 41% are consistent with the central proposition of this article.’
    • ‘The result has been a number of studies that have tested many of his core assumptions and propositions.’
    • ‘The authors offer some propositions which I take to be logically flawed.’
    • ‘On my view, to believe something is to hold a proposition in your mind assertively.’
    • ‘I don't know that it's a slam dunk that this proposition is particularly sound.’
    • ‘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 accept the propositions involved in that.’
    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.’
      • ‘We have to use the theory of probability when we do not know whether a proposition is true or false.’
      • ‘There is a very important distinction between propositions that are true and propositions that are 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.
      • ‘Theoretical propositions and recommendations were used in various conditions.’
      • ‘For example, Spinoza's Ethics has the same format as Euclid's Elements, containing propositions and demonstrations.’
      • ‘In 1934 Gödel gave a series of lectures at Princeton entitled On undecidable propositions of formal mathematical systems.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Book One discusses his laws of motion then proceeds to a series of propositions, theorems and problems.’
  • 2A suggested scheme or plan of action, especially in a business context.

    ‘a detailed investment proposition’
    • ‘The right proposition offered to well-targeted customers will bring more success.’
    • ‘A magazine is a business proposition, and ads pay for the magazine.’
    • ‘If you are coming to it fresh, take in your proposition and the business plan, and take it from there.’
    • ‘The exhibition aims at popularising horticulture and related activities as viable business propositions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As soon as some people view you as successful they offer you one of the dumbest business propositions ever.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She also approaches businesses with propositions for aid in all forms.’
    • ‘At the end of the day it is a business proposition for the company.’
    • ‘Let me be clear: As a business proposition, consolidation makes sense.’
    • ‘I have looked at this as a business proposition.’
    • ‘Gone are the days of 1999 to 2001 when certain business propositions were funded at valuations based on overoptimistic revenue streams.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Could the reason perhaps have been that general opinion was very much against the proposition?’
    • ‘It's about building a business and a value proposition.’
    • ‘And he also told an Edinburgh audience that there were immense business propositions if nations were prepared to work together.’
    • ‘Investing in a club should not be viewed as a business proposition, merely an emotional investment.’
    • ‘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 (in the US) a constitutional proposal; a bill.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As a consequence, we believe that the bill has continued to evolve into a workable proposition and a good piece of legislation.’
      • ‘Obviously they didn't watch the press conference where we announced this 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 proposition being advanced to members of this House is an assumption that the law is unchanging.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have a list of those who made proposals to the draft proposition.’
      • ‘The proposition was deemed unconstitutional and was not implemented.’
      • ‘Three reactionary propositions are on the ballot in the March 7 California primary election.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As written, the proposition is overly broad and might have vicious unintended consequences the Legislature didn't foresee.’
      • ‘Voters responded overwhelmingly, carrying the proposition into law by a margin of nearly 20 percent.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yes, but those propositions are themselves propositions of constitutional law, are they not?’
      • ‘The committee will have a much more thorough look at the propositions being put forward in this bill.’
      • ‘The propositions garnered majority support in every county in the state with the exception of San Francisco and four counties in rural Northern California.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2informal An offer of sexual intercourse made to a person with whom one is not sexually involved, especially one that is made in an unsubtle or offensive way.
      • ‘Two pages of the book deal with a sexual proposition, including hints at oral sex.’
      • ‘James watched her leave and thought over the proposition Veronica had offered to him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Today, it seems users barely bat an eye when greeted with propositions for ‘raw’ sex.’
      sexual advance, sexual overture, indecent proposal, improper suggestion, soliciting
      View synonyms
  • 3with adjective A project, task, or idea considered in terms of its likely success or difficulty, especially in a commercial context.

    ‘a paper that has lost half its readers is unlikely to be an attractive proposition’
    • ‘It appeared an attractive and interesting proposition.’
    • ‘Deciding which is worse - prolonged oppression or relatively short burst of violence leading to liberation - is an immensely difficult proposition.’
    • ‘It is a risky proposition under any circumstances, and sometimes it doesn't last.’
    • ‘A ‘no bid’ handed to you on a plate contract is a pretty attractive proposition.’
    • ‘As I've said, this is bound to be a difficult proposition given the success of science.’
    • ‘But I'd at least suggest that ‘getting’ someone to love you is a losing proposition.’
    • ‘It is a very difficult proposition, as she has no idea who this guy is.’
    • ‘Ultimately, that's a losing proposition in the long term.’
    • ‘His most recent deal is designed to make the combined company a more attractive proposition for investors in terms of size and product offering.’
    • ‘And the thought that I couldn't possibly manage without some bloke to wash socks for really didn't seem a very attractive proposition.’
    • ‘Buying presents for girls is a very difficult proposition indeed.’
    • ‘Step up the difficulty level, and it becomes a slightly more difficult proposition, but still not too challenging.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The theory is that right-handed competitors are less accustomed to facing left-handers, making them a more difficult proposition.’
    • ‘At first blush, that would seem a preposterous proposition.’
    • ‘Over time, markets have always demonstrated a wonderful resiliency that makes being a bear a long-term losing proposition.’
    • ‘And if the club still owned its own ground it would also be a much more attractive proposition to would-be owners.’
    • ‘A much more difficult proposition was to overlook the hard evidence of official government documents.’
    task, job, undertaking, venture, activity, problem, affair
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    1. 3.1 A person considered in terms of the likely success or difficulty of one's dealings with them.
      ‘as a potential manager, Sandy is a better proposition than Dave’

verb

[with object]informal
  • 1Make a suggestion of sexual intercourse to (someone with whom one is not sexually involved), especially in an unsubtle or offensive way.

    ‘she had been propositioned at the party by an accountant’
    • ‘She said prostitutes propositioned builders who were working on her house.’
    • ‘Then, he commenced to begin propositioning a whore in a profane courtship that last an hour or so until Rupert dragged him out.’
    • ‘But even in my close company, she was propositioned several times!’
    • ‘Some men whom he had propositioned sexually refused to be interviewed, either on or off the record.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the one reported staff incident, a male officer subtly propositioned the woman.’
    • ‘‘He's propositioned every girl in our class at least once,’ she blurted out.’
    • ‘How was I supposed to know she was propositioning me?’
    • ‘Jacob looked into my eyes as if he were propositioning me to go back to his place.’
    • ‘She spoke of how her immediate boss propositioned her and sexually harassed her.’
    • ‘Oh don't worry - I'm not propositioning you on your wedding day, I'm just complimenting you and being honest.’
    • ‘The oft-cited fact that he had ‘a wife and child at home’ when he was propositioning women is not relevant to sexual harassment.’
    • ‘The features tell us if that person is a threat, if they are sexually propositioning us, cowering before us or merely sleeping.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All through high school and even college, she had men propositioning her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I nearly stumbled into a well-hidden traveller's camp and, on my way home, I was propositioned by a rent-boy.’
    • ‘Prostitutes have been propositioning customers and begging for money.’
    propose sex with, make sexual advances to, make sexual overtures to, make an indecent proposal to, make an improper suggestion to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make an offer or suggestion to (someone)
      ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

proposition

/ˌpräpəˈziSH(ə)n//ˌprɑpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/