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[verb pos-chuh-leyt; noun pos-chuh-lit, -leyt] /verb ˈpɒs tʃəˌleɪt; noun 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 postulation
Historical Examples
  • This postulation, says a close thinker, is the very foundation and essence of religion.

    The Religious Sentiment Daniel G. Brinton
  • The postulation by him of molecular force at this point, is virtually an abandonment of the whole controversy.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • But Science has been reluctant to recognise that it is now entitled to dispense with the postulation of Matter.

  • But such esoteric combinations are not at all necessary for the postulation of wildly variant life forms.

    Cum Grano Salis Gordon Randall Garrett
  • postulation and the verifying of postulates is thus a process of reciprocal discrimination and selection.

    Pragmatism D.L. Murray
British Dictionary definitions for postulation


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 postulation



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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postulation 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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postulation in Science
See axiom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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postulation 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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