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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[uh-soomd] /əˈsumd/
adopted in order to deceive; fictitious; pretended; feigned:
an assumed name; an assumed air of humility.
taken for granted; supposed:
His assumed innocence proved untrue.
Origin of assumed
1615-25; assume + -ed2
Related forms
[uh-soo-mid-lee] /əˈsu mɪd li/ (Show IPA),
nonassumed, adjective
self-assumed, adjective
unassumed, adjective
well-assumed, adjective


[uh-soom] /əˈsum/
verb (used with object), assumed, assuming.
to take for granted or without proof:
to assume that everyone wants peace.
to take upon oneself; undertake:
to assume an obligation.
to take over the duties or responsibilities of:
to assume the office of treasurer.
to take on (a particular character, quality, mode of life, etc.); adopt:
He assumed the style of an aggressive go-getter.
to take on; be invested or endowed with:
The situation assumed a threatening character.
to pretend to have or be; feign:
to assume a humble manner.
to appropriate or arrogate; seize; usurp:
to assume a right to oneself; to assume control.
to take upon oneself (the debts or obligations of another).
Archaic. to take into relation or association; adopt.
verb (used without object), assumed, assuming.
to take something for granted; presume.
1400-50; late Middle English (< Anglo-French assumer) < Latin assūmere to take to, adopt, equivalent to as- as- + sūmere to take up; see consume
Related forms
assumer, noun
overassume, verb (used with object), overassumed, overassuming.
preassume, verb (used with object), preassumed, preassuming.
reassume, verb (used with object), reassumed, reassuming.
Synonym Study
6. assume, Pretend, affect, feign imply an attempt to create a false appearance. To assume is to take on or put on a specific outward appearance, often (but not always) with intent to deceive: to assume an air of indifference. To pretend is to create an imaginary characteristic or to play a part: to pretend sorrow. To affect is to make a consciously artificial show of having qualities that one thinks would look well and impress others: to affect shyness. To feign implies using ingenuity in pretense, and some degree of imitation of appearance or characteristics: to feign surprise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for assumed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Faulkner assumed an air of real affliction, presumably for the departed.

    Tom, Dick and Harry Talbot Baines Reed
  • He gives what His hearers might be assumed to be able to assimilate; but that is all.

  • I assumed, then, she must be talking to Miss Stuart, for surely she would not say that to her maid.

    The Curved Blades Carolyn Wells
  • It is assumed that the children that are to eat this meal are not infants.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5 Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
  • It was thought the scoundrel had sailed for England under an assumed name.

    The Hills of Refuge Will N. Harben
British Dictionary definitions for assumed


false; fictitious: an assumed name
taken for granted: an assumed result
usurped; arrogated: an assumed authority


verb (transitive)
(may take a clause as object) to take for granted; accept without proof; suppose: to assume that someone is sane
to take upon oneself; undertake or take on or over (a position, responsibility, etc): to assume office
to pretend to; feign: he assumed indifference, although the news affected him deeply
to take or put on; adopt: the problem assumed gigantic proportions
to appropriate or usurp (power, control, etc); arrogate: the revolutionaries assumed control of the city
(Christianity) (of God) to take up (the soul of a believer) into heaven
Derived Forms
assumable, adjective
assumer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin assūmere to take up, from sūmere to take up, from sub- + emere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for assumed



early 15c., assumpten "to receive up into heaven" (especially of the Virgin Mary), also assumen "to arrogate," from Latin assumere "to take up, take to oneself," from ad- "to, up" (see ad-) + sumere "to take," from sub "under" + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)).

Meaning "to suppose, to take for granted as the basis of argument" is first recorded 1590s; that of "to take or put on (an appearance, etc.)" is from c.1600. Related: Assumed; assuming. Early past participle was assumpt. In rhetorical usage, assume expresses what the assumer postulates, often as a confessed hypothesis; presume expresses what the presumer really believes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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