Definition of suppose in English:

suppose

verb

  • 1[with clause] Assume that something is the case on the basis of evidence or probability but without proof or certain knowledge.

    ‘I suppose I got there about half past eleven’
    • ‘I suppose what's worrying me is what happens when this is all over.’
    • ‘I only suppose there's going to be several stitches because it was such a deep cut.’
    • ‘I'm shocked that it has come to this but I suppose the evidence has been there for a long time that this day would come.’
    • ‘I suppose she assumed I would bust into tears again at any moment.’
    • ‘You could make arguments on this basis, I suppose, on either side.’
    • ‘I suppose the boy had assumed that I would be frightened off by now, but I didn't want to give him that satisfaction.’
    • ‘He supposed what was troubling him was the question of fate, or destiny.’
    • ‘When we didn't laugh, I suppose he assumed that Jess hadn't been lying.’
    apparent, seeming, alleged, putative, reputed, rumoured, claimed, purported, ostensible, specious
    assume, dare say, take for granted, take as read, presume, expect, take it
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Used to make a suggestion or a hesitant admission.
      [in imperative] ‘suppose we leave this to the police’
      ‘I'm quite a good actress, I suppose’
      • ‘Suppose you never need this type of care.’
      • ‘On that basis, I suppose I should have ended up a cookery writer, but no matter.’
      • ‘If I were a real die-hard, there'd be no hesitation, I suppose; I don't love any popular icon that much.’
      • ‘Well, you know, that's a very good point, and I suppose one could assume they really don't have much option at the moment other than to stay as long as it takes.’
      • ‘I suppose at some point we need to start thinking about decorating the nursery.’
      • ‘Suppose we landed on Mars and we saw a skyscraper.’
      • ‘That is the basis, I suppose, upon which this court must approach it.’
      • ‘I suppose to some extent that's true.’
      • ‘I suppose I live my life as a hermit.’
      • ‘I suppose I better leave it here tonight and let sleep work on it.’
      • ‘I suppose, given the evidence, I should have realised earlier that he had gone to Germany voluntarily.’
      • ‘Suppose we have an auction and no one shows up?’
      • ‘I suppose in a way it's easier for women than for men.’
    2. 1.2Used to introduce a hypothesis and trace or ask about what follows from it.
      ‘suppose he had been murdered—what then?’
      • ‘And now suppose that, given the right introduction to jazz, you actually liked it.’
      • ‘To take a hypothetical case, suppose that, on day one, an unlawful trading activity starts which is not disclosed or prevented as a result of the defendant's negligence.’
      • ‘Let's suppose, hypothetically, that spam is accepted, so everybody can do it.’
      • ‘Continuing with my hypothetical example, suppose that this test were ordered for thirty percent of the American population.’
      • ‘As a last example, suppose a development authority plans to build a barrage across an estuary to increase property values and generate opportunities for marina developments.’
      • ‘Suppose that adoption has never previously been practised in our society, and suppose that someone proposes introducing it.’
      • ‘Imagine tossing a coin until it lands heads-up, and suppose that the payoff grows exponentially according to the number of tosses you make.’
      • ‘For the sake of argument, let's suppose that we have a pile of cash that we can sacrifice for some noble cause.’
      • ‘Finally, suppose that we hypothesize that there are races, and that the correct racial classification has a certain form.’
    3. 1.3(of a theory or argument) assume or require that something is the case as a precondition.
      ‘the procedure supposes that a will has already been proved’
      [with object] ‘the theory supposes a predisposition to interpret utterances’
      • ‘The theory of core accretion supposes the collisional accumulation of solid bodies, the process that is universally accepted as the formation mechanism of the terrestrial planets.’
      • ‘This theory supposes that each offender in his true nature, a kind of rational or moral nature, sees that punishment is right in certain circumstances.’
      • ‘This hypothesis supposes that there is a suite of potential alleles at the imprinted locus, and each allele differs in its susceptibility to being imprinted.’
      • ‘It started as the theory of permutation groups, but now the general theory of groups does not suppose that elements of groups should be permutations.’
      • ‘The theory supposes that, while different people can possess some different beliefs about race, they share certain criterial beliefs and these serve to define the concept.’
      • ‘Rational-actor theory supposes that we make decisions by calm, essentially mathematical calculation of our own self-interest.’
      • ‘Presentism and the growing-past theories must suppose that this event is both real and unreal because it's real for A but not real for B.’
      • ‘He and others buy into what they call the belt-of-fat theory, which supposes that abdominal fat inhibits the stomach from ballooning.’
      • ‘The argument against objectivity supposes that contaminating bias will distort all one's work.’
    4. 1.4[with object]Believe to exist or to possess a specified characteristic.
      [with object] ‘he supposed the girl to be about twelve’
      • ‘She is not a has-been like many suppose her to be.’
      • ‘Brown has actually turned out worse than many of us supposed him to be as well.’
      • ‘This novel is far from a crude anti-Islamic polemic, however, as many might have supposed it to be.’
      • ‘She supposed them to be supporters of the interim government.’
      • ‘The ideas which we have supposed him to possess would mediate in his mind between the phenomena he starts with and the conclusions he draws.’
      • ‘If we suppose him to also be devoid of the sense of smell, we shall see what a very small part of the glory of the garden exists for him.’
      • ‘She had not supposed him to be a deeply religious man.’
      • ‘I have always supposed it to be my own fault.’
  • 2Be required to do something because of the position one is in or an agreement one has made.

    ‘I'm supposed to be meeting someone at the airport’
    • ‘Since I was a child, there have been many wars which were supposed to impact my life.’
    • ‘Those plants were supposed to give us decades of electricity that would be too cheap to meter.’
    • ‘The contractors who were supposed to be here on Thursday have decided they'd come today instead.’
    • ‘I can understand that the acting was supposed to be choppy, and the sets were supposed to look fake.’
    • ‘Reforms in 2000 were supposed to achieve this aim but have not done so with any great success.’
    • ‘Relations between fishermen and scientists were supposed to be getting better before last week.’
    • ‘They were supposed to meet up with others and go to a party, but that didn't happen.’
    • ‘We were supposed to have our grandson this weekend so his mother can move house, but we have had to rearrange our plans.’
    • ‘We'd been up since 5am driving and were supposed to be meeting folks for a meal that night.’
    • ‘We were supposed to go upstairs for a meal but just couldn't face anybody.’
    • ‘They were being too radical and I think they were supposed to be meeting in other people's houses.’
    • ‘Shawn pulled up to the abandoned building where the gang meeting was supposed to be.’
    • ‘The consulting contract is supposed to reflect a meeting of the minds between the parties.’
    • ‘You were supposed to take your shoes off at the front door, before you even got into the lobby!’
    • ‘We were supposed to find out on Friday, but for various reasons they weren't able to get the information to us.’
    • ‘My surprise meant it took a good few minutes before I realised what we were supposed to do with a live chicken.’
    • ‘I thought these sessions were supposed to have a positive effect, if anything.’
    • ‘They were supposed to be a flexible product that would suit investors with different appetites for risk.’
    • ‘Men from the north in those days came from nomadic tribes and were supposed to be strong and brave.’
    • ‘We had guns aimed at us by the police who were supposed to be there to protect and serve.’
    meant, intended, expected
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[with negative]Be forbidden to do something.
      ‘I shouldn't have been in the kitchen—I'm not supposed to go in there’
      • ‘At about 4pm they went along the corridor to a music practice room - where they were not supposed to be - to use the piano.’
      • ‘I realize that this is exactly what I was not supposed to see.’
      • ‘In iconography and metaphor, women figured as symbols of knowledge, or as the object of knowledge, but in practical terms, they were not supposed to conduct scientific investigation themselves.’
      • ‘In theory, they were not supposed to engage with the enemy, except when unavoidable.’
      • ‘In my mind, we were not supposed to be interested in dress, food and wine.’
      • ‘Chinese women in ancient China were not supposed to go out and be seen in public.’
      • ‘To excuse that use of his name by saying the spies were not supposed to use real names is begging the question.’
      • ‘The only indicator was that the roof lights without a net remained uncovered, as they were not supposed to be worked on during that day.’
      • ‘The decision was made by an official and ministers were not supposed to interfere.’
      • ‘She also pointed out that businesses were not supposed to put out directional signs unless they had applied for permission.’
      • ‘Lee had astounded herself at this ability to preach, and she knew the source of this inner power, which women were not supposed to possess.’
      • ‘We saw glimpses of this in the 1980s with the invention of the fax machine, which more or less removed the mass media's ability to bury a story that the people were not supposed to know about.’
      • ‘She was unaware at the time that the stairs were not supposed to be used.’
      • ‘Gordon did not specify exactly what it was the staff members were not supposed to talk about.’
      • ‘There was so much we were not supposed to be capable of doing.’
      • ‘My friend, who was not supposed to be in Paris this weekend, appeared just after midnight, for a brief stop-over in preparation for some work the following day.’
      • ‘I thought the attorneys for the various parties were not supposed to be discussing the case.’
      • ‘Women were not supposed to work outside the home.’
      • ‘Incidentally, Barbara was not supposed to be on that flight today.’
      • ‘The uniform was used as a cover for their activities back home, where they were not supposed to discuss their work with friends and family.’

Phrases

  • i suppose so

    • Used to express hesitant or reluctant agreement.

      • ‘‘Um, I suppose so,’ he answers, a bit uncertain.’
      • ‘Well, I suppose so, but one gets accustomed to it.’
      • ‘‘Well, I suppose so,’ she affirmed uncertainly.’
      • ‘Yes, yes, I suppose so and people could have asked that.’
      • ‘Jon did not see any suspicion in this question, so he replied calmly, ‘Yes, I suppose so.’’
      • ‘‘I'd never really thought about it that way,’ said Brother Daniel, ‘but I suppose so, yes.’’
      • ‘‘Well, yeah, I suppose so,’ she agreed resentfully.’
      • ‘Um, I suppose so, though I haven't made any plans.’
      • ‘Well, if you want to think of it that way, I suppose so, but never entirely.’
      • ‘Well, I suppose so, but sometimes it's okay to let the veneer crack.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French supposer, from Latin supponere (from sub- from below + ponere to place), but influenced by Latin suppositus set under and Old French poser to place.

Pronunciation:

suppose

/səˈpōz/