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[v. pos-chuh-leyt; n. pos-chuh-lit, -leyt] /v. ˈpɒs tʃəˌleɪt; n. ˈpɒs tʃə lɪt, -ˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), postulated, postulating.
to ask, demand, or claim.
to claim or assume the existence or truth of, especially as a basis for reasoning or arguing.
to assume without proof, or as self-evident; take for granted.
Mathematics, Logic. to assume as a postulate.
something taken as self-evident or assumed without proof as a basis for reasoning.
Mathematics, Logic. a proposition that requires no proof, being self-evident, or that is for a specific purpose assumed true, and that is used in the proof of other propositions; axiom.
a fundamental principle.
a necessary condition; prerequisite.
Origin of postulate
1525-35; < Latin postulātum petition, thing requested, noun use of neuter of past participle of postulāre to request, demand, akin to pōscere to request
Related forms
postulation, noun
postulational, adjective
repostulate, verb (used with object), repostulated, repostulating.
repostulate, noun
repostulation, noun
unpostulated, adjective
3. hypothecate, presuppose, conjecture. 5. hypothesis, theory; axiom; assumption, conjecture. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for postulate
  • It is this postulate that reigns supreme throughout the eminent literary critic's latest book.
  • Einstein postulated that elecricity is faster than light.
  • The heroes and rulers of that ancient continent, they postulate, inspired classical Greek mythology.
  • Euclidean system of geometry based on the postulate that within a plane every pair of lines intersects.
  • That is, it is easy to postulate the supremacy of mankind's survival as a value.
  • Photon or the quanta of light was postulated long ago by Newton.
  • Bullish analysts postulate that valuations of vulnerable tech companies will not go much lower.
  • But Hubbell started from a postulate that most consider preposterous: that one tree or one bird is just like any other.
  • Let's postulate for a second that the government is not involved.
  • Those that postulate this are not unlike the religious folks who are waiting for the end of the world.
British Dictionary definitions for postulate


verb (transitive; may take a clause as object) (ˈpɒstjʊˌleɪt)
to assume to be true or existent; take for granted
to ask, demand, or claim
to nominate (a person) to a post or office subject to approval by a higher authority
noun (ˈpɒstjʊlɪt)
something taken as self-evident or assumed as the basis of an argument
a necessary condition or prerequisite
a fundamental principle
(logic, maths) an unproved and indemonstrable statement that should be taken for granted: used as an initial premise or underlying hypothesis in a process of reasoning
Derived Forms
postulation, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin postulāre to ask for, require; related to pōscere to request
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 postulate

1530s, "nominate to a church office," from Medieval Latin postulatus, past participle of postulare "to ask, demand; claim; require," probably formed from past participle of Latin poscere "ask urgently, demand," from *posk-to-, Italic inchoative of PIE root *prek- "to ask questions" (cf. Sanskrit prcchati, Avestan peresaiti "interrogates," Old High German forskon, German forschen "to search, inquire"). Use in logic dates from 1640s, borrowed from Medieval Latin.


1580s, "a request, demand," from Latin postulatum "demand, request," properly "that which is requested," noun use of neuter past participle of postulare (see postulate (v.)). The sense in logic of "self-evident proposition" is from 1640s. The earlier noun in English was postulation (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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postulate in Medicine

postulate pos·tu·late (pŏs'chə-lāt')
v. pos·tu·lat·ed, pos·tu·lat·ing, pos·tu·lates
To assume or assert the truth or necessity of, especially as a basis of an argument. n.
An unproved assertion or assumption, especially a statement offered as the basis of a theory.

pos'tu·la'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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postulate in Science
See axiom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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postulate in Culture

postulate definition

A statement accepted as true for the purposes of argument or scientific investigation; also, a basic principle. (See axiom.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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