What does presume mean?

Definitions for presume

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word presume.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. assume, presume, take for grantedverb

    take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof

    "I assume his train was late"

  2. make bold, dare, presumeverb

    take upon oneself; act presumptuously, without permission

    "How dare you call my lawyer?"

  3. presumeverb

    constitute reasonable evidence for

    "A restaurant bill presumes the consumption of food"

  4. presumeverb

    take liberties or act with too much confidence


  1. presumeverb

    To perform, do (something) without authority; to lay claim to without permission.

    Don't make the decision yourself and presume too much.

  2. presumeverb

    With infinitive object: to be so presumptuous as (to do something) without proper authority or permission.

    I wouldn't presume to tell him how to do his job.

  3. presumeverb

    To assume to be true (without proof); to take for granted, to suppose.

  4. presumeverb

    To be presumptuous; with on, upon, to take advantage (of), to take liberties (with).

  5. Etymology: From presumer, presumer, and their source, praesumere, from prae- + sumere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PRESUMEverb

    Etymology: p esumer, Fr. præsumo, Lat.

    O much deceiv’d, much failing, hapless Eve!
    Of thy presum’d return! event perverse! John Milton.

    Experience supplants the use of conjecture in the point; we do not only presume it may be so, but actually find it is so. Government of the Tongue.

    Although in the relation of Moses there be very few persons mentioned, yet are there many more to be presumed. Brown.

    I presume,
    That as my hand has open’d bounty to you,
    My heart dropp’d love; my pow’r rain’d honour more
    On you, than any. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    There was a matter we were no less desirous to know, than fearful to ask, lest we might presume too far. Francis Bacon.

    I to the heav’nly vision thus presum’d. John Milton.

    The life of Ovid being already written in our language, I will not presume so far upon myself, to think I can add any thing to Mr. Sandys his undertaking. Dryden.

    This man presumes upon his parts, that they will not fail him at time of need, and so thinks it superfluous labour to make any provision beforehand. John Locke.

    In this we fail to perform the thing, which God seeth meet, convenient and good; in that we presume to see what is meet and convenient, better than God himself. Richard Hooker.

    God, to remove his ways from human sense,
    Plac’d heav’n from earth so far, that earthly sight,
    If it presume, might err in things too high,
    And no advantage gain. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. viii.

    He, that would not deceive himself, ought to build his hypothesis on matter of fact, and not presume on matter of fact, because of his hypothesis. John Locke.

    Luther presumes upon the gift of continency. Francis Atterbury.

    Presuming of his force, with sparkling eyes,
    Already he devours the promis’d prize. Dryden.


  1. presume

    To presume means to suppose or assume something to be true without having sufficient proof or evidence to confirm it. It can also refer to taking for granted that something exists or is the case. Additionally, it can mean to take liberties or bold actions, often without permission.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Presumeverb

    to assume or take beforehand; esp., to do or undertake without leave or authority previously obtained

  2. Presumeverb

    to take or suppose to be true, or entitled to belief, without examination or proof, or on the strength of probability; to take for granted; to infer; to suppose

  3. Presumeverb

    to suppose or assume something to be, or to be true, on grounds deemed valid, though not amounting to proof; to believe by anticipation; to infer; as, we may presume too far

  4. Presumeverb

    to venture, go, or act, by an assumption of leave or authority not granted; to go beyond what is warranted by the circumstances of the case; to venture beyond license; to take liberties; -- often with on or upon before the ground of confidence

  5. Etymology: [F. prsumer, L. praesumere, praesumptum; prae before + sumere to take. See Assume, Redeem.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Presume

    prē-zūm′, v.t. to take as true without examination or proof: to take for granted.—v.i. to venture beyond what one has ground for: to act forwardly or without proper right.—adj. Presūm′able, that may be presumed or supposed to be true.—adv. Presūm′ably.—adj. Presūm′ing, venturing without permission: unreasonably bold.—adv. Presūm′ingly.—n. Presump′tion, act of presuming: supposition: strong probability: that which is taken for granted: confidence grounded on something not proved: conduct going beyond proper bounds: (law) an assuming of the truth of certain facts from the existence of others having some connection with them.—adj. Presump′tive, presuming: grounded on probable evidence: (law) proving circumstantially.—adv. Presump′tively.—Presumptive evidence, evidence for a fact derived from other facts having some connection with it: indirect evidence.—Heir presumptive, the person, not son or daughter, at present next in succession to any living person. [Fr. présumer—L. præsumĕrepræ, before, sumĕre, to take—sub, under, emĕre, to buy.]

Suggested Resources

  1. presume

    Assume vs. Presume -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between Assume vs. Presume.

  2. Presume

    Assume vs Presume -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Assume and Presume.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Presume is ranked #85049 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Presume surname appeared 220 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Presume.

    94% or 207 total occurrences were Black.
    2.7% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.2% or 5 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'presume' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3510

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'presume' in Verbs Frequency: #991

Anagrams for presume »

  1. supreme

  2. Supreme

How to pronounce presume?

How to say presume in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of presume in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of presume in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of presume in a Sentence

  1. Dudley Sharp:

    Presume that people don't know and, therefore, inform them, so that knowledge is shared. Presuming knowledge, when absent, just furthers ignorance.

  2. Steve Tsang:

    No country should presume that we will engage in trading our core interests or that we will swallow the 'bitter fruit' of harming our sovereignty, security or development interests.

  3. Alexander Pope:

    Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,The proper study of Mankind is Man.

  4. John Curtice:

    I doubt they will lose all of their seats but the Labour Party cannot presume that any constituency is going to present them with a safe victory.

  5. Saadi Shirazi:

    Anger that has no limit causes terror, and unseasonable kindness does away with respect. Be not so severe as to cause disgust, nor so lenient as to make people presume.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for presume

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"presume." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/presume>.

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    living by preying on other animals especially by catching living prey
    • A. omnifarious
    • B. arbitrary
    • C. extroversive
    • D. ravening

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