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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even then, it is not the easiest proposition to grasp.’
    • ‘Rather than testing the effectiveness of a theory in clinical practice, basic research tests the validity of the propositions of the theory.’
    • ‘Now, you know, in my opinion, it's an absurd proposition.’
    • ‘I do not accept the propositions involved in that.’
    • ‘The mischievous core of her opinion lies in the proposition that ‘diversity’ is a compelling government interest.’
    • ‘I don't know that it's a slam dunk that this proposition is particularly sound.’
    • ‘Mindful of this caution, it is, nevertheless, possible to advance the following propositions.’
    • ‘On my view, to believe something is to hold a proposition in your mind assertively.’
    • ‘The result has been a number of studies that have tested many of his core assumptions and propositions.’
    • ‘I do not agree with the propositions of the member.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yet, surprisingly, there is little empirical evidence for this 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.’
    • ‘Without a much more thorough linkage between theory and fact, the book's central historical and theoretical propositions must be viewed as unproven.’
    • ‘He uses his exploration of these long-forgotten characters and their arcane quarrels to advance three propositions.’
    • ‘The authors offer some propositions which I take to be logically flawed.’
    theory, hypothesis, thesis, argument, premise, postulation, theorem, concept, idea, statement
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Logic A statement that expresses a concept that can be true or false.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mathematical formulas and sentences do not express true or false propositions about any subject-matter.’
    2. 1.2Mathematics A formal statement of a theorem or problem, typically including the demonstration.
      • ‘Theoretical propositions and recommendations were used in various conditions.’
      • ‘In 1934 Gödel gave a series of lectures at Princeton entitled On undecidable propositions of formal mathematical systems.’
      • ‘Book One discusses his laws of motion then proceeds to a series of propositions, theorems and problems.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For example, Spinoza's Ethics has the same format as Euclid's Elements, containing propositions and demonstrations.’
  • 2A suggested scheme or plan of action, especially in a business context.

    ‘a detailed investment proposition’
    • ‘She also approaches businesses with propositions for aid in all forms.’
    • ‘It's about building a business and a value 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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And he also told an Edinburgh audience that there were immense business propositions if nations were prepared to work together.’
    • ‘A magazine is a business proposition, and ads pay for the magazine.’
    • ‘Gone are the days of 1999 to 2001 when certain business propositions were funded at valuations based on overoptimistic revenue streams.’
    • ‘I have looked at this as a business proposition.’
    • ‘The exhibition aims at popularising horticulture and related activities as viable business propositions.’
    • ‘Every organization offers a value proposition that says, in effect: We will deliver something of value to you at a specified price.’
    • ‘Could the reason perhaps have been that general opinion was very much against the proposition?’
    • ‘The right proposition offered to well-targeted customers will bring more success.’
    • ‘As soon as some people view you as successful they offer you one of the dumbest business propositions ever.’
    • ‘If you are coming to it fresh, take in your proposition and the business plan, and take it from there.’
    • ‘As part of our revised proposition, we are offering to create a new and safer parking area, in line with the surgery's needs.’
    • ‘Let me be clear: As a business proposition, consolidation makes sense.’
    • ‘Investing in a club should not be viewed as a business proposition, merely an emotional investment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At the end of the day it is a business proposition for the company.’
    proposal, scheme, plan, project, programme, manifesto, motion, bid, presentation, submission, suggestion, recommendation, approach
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1US (in the US) a constitutional proposal; a 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.’
      • ‘The proposition was deemed unconstitutional and was not implemented.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That member has put up the same proposition three times.’
      • ‘As a consequence, we believe that the bill has continued to evolve into a workable proposition and a good piece of legislation.’
      • ‘The committee will have a much more thorough look at the propositions being put forward in this bill.’
      • ‘I have a list of those who made proposals to the draft proposition.’
      • ‘The proposition being advanced to members of this House is an assumption that the law is unchanging.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Such a proposition would involve putting an unwarranted gloss on the language of section 29 of the Act of 1971.’
      • ‘As written, the proposition is overly broad and might have vicious unintended consequences the Legislature didn't foresee.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was stated that contentious propositions are often highly offensive to the public in general.’
      • ‘Three reactionary propositions are on the ballot in the March 7 California primary election.’
      • ‘That is totally different from the proposition just made by the leader of the National Party.’
      • ‘Obviously they didn't watch the press conference where we announced this proposition.’
      • ‘Yes, but those propositions are themselves propositions of constitutional law, are they not?’
      • ‘Voters responded overwhelmingly, carrying the proposition into law by a margin of nearly 20 percent.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    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.
      • ‘James watched her leave and thought over the proposition Veronica had offered to him.’
      • ‘Half those guys are introducing propositions involving bathrooms and back-alleys.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Two pages of the book deal with a sexual proposition, including hints at oral sex.’
      • ‘Unfortunately Michelle mistakes Jim's fumbling proposal of marriage at a posh restaurant as a sexual proposition.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ultimately, that's a losing proposition in the long term.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His most recent deal is designed to make the combined company a more attractive proposition for investors in terms of size and product offering.’
    • ‘Step up the difficulty level, and it becomes a slightly more difficult proposition, but still not too challenging.’
    • ‘It is a risky proposition under any circumstances, and sometimes it doesn't last.’
    • ‘Deciding which is worse - prolonged oppression or relatively short burst of violence leading to liberation - is an immensely difficult proposition.’
    • ‘As I've said, this is bound to be a difficult proposition given the success of science.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But I'd at least suggest that ‘getting’ someone to love you is a losing proposition.’
    • ‘The theory is that right-handed competitors are less accustomed to facing left-handers, making them a more difficult 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At first blush, that would seem a preposterous proposition.’
    • ‘Buying presents for girls is a very difficult proposition indeed.’
    task, job, undertaking, venture, activity, problem, affair
    View synonyms
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Oh don't worry - I'm not propositioning you on your wedding day, I'm just complimenting you and being honest.’
    • ‘Some men whom he had propositioned sexually refused to be interviewed, either on or off the record.’
    • ‘Prostitutes have been propositioning customers and begging for money.’
    • ‘The five are charged with propositioning men and then pretending to be police officers, handcuffing the men, and then robbing them.’
    • ‘She spoke of how her immediate boss propositioned her and sexually harassed her.’
    • ‘In the one reported staff incident, a male officer subtly propositioned the woman.’
    • ‘I nearly stumbled into a well-hidden traveller's camp and, on my way home, I was propositioned by a rent-boy.’
    • ‘But even in my close company, she was propositioned several times!’
    • ‘Then, he commenced to begin propositioning a whore in a profane courtship that last an hour or so until Rupert dragged him out.’
    • ‘How was I supposed to know she was propositioning me?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘He's propositioned every girl in our class at least once,’ she blurted out.’
    • ‘The features tell us if that person is a threat, if they are sexually propositioning us, cowering before us or merely sleeping.’
    • ‘Then two years later, her boss propositions her again.’
    • ‘She said prostitutes propositioned builders who were working on her house.’
    • ‘Jacob looked into my eyes as if he were propositioning me to go back to his place.’
    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

/ˌprɑpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n//ˌpräpəˈziSH(ə)n/