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[prem-is] /ˈprɛm ɪs/
Also, premiss. Logic. a proposition supporting or helping to support a conclusion.
  1. a tract of land including its buildings.
  2. a building together with its grounds or other appurtenances.
  3. the property forming the subject of a conveyance or bequest.
  1. a basis, stated or assumed, on which reasoning proceeds.
  2. an earlier statement in a document.
  3. (in a bill in equity) the statement of facts upon which the complaint is based.
verb (used with object), premised, premising.
to set forth beforehand, as by way of introduction or explanation.
to assume, either explicitly or implicitly, (a proposition) as a premise for a conclusion.
verb (used without object), premised, premising.
to state or assume a premise.
Origin of premise
1325-75; Middle English premiss < Medieval Latin praemissa, noun use of feminine of Latin praemissus past participle of praemittere to send before, equivalent to prae- pre- + mittere to send. See dismiss, remiss
Related forms
repremise, verb, repremised, repremising.
Can be confused
premise, premises.
1. assumption, postulate. 5. postulate, hypothesize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for premise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is necessary to premise, however, that the difficulty is not peculiar to the present position.

  • Now that the first shock was over, she saw that there was every reason to premise a Mrs. Bast.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • He based this plan upon the premise that democracy would be more successful if greater numbers of individuals were educated.

  • And I must premise, without attempting to justify them, certain explanations.

    Poetry for Poetry's Sake A. C. Bradley
  • The premise is inaccurate; it is a war we are in duty bound to wage at any rate till order is restored—but let that pass.

    Problems of Expansion Whitelaw Reid
British Dictionary definitions for premise


noun (ˈprɛmɪs)
(logic) Also premiss. a statement that is assumed to be true for the purpose of an argument from which a conclusion is drawn
verb (prɪˈmaɪz; ˈprɛmɪs)
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to state or assume (a proposition) as a premise in an argument, theory, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Old French prémisse, from Medieval Latin praemissa sent on before, from Latin praemittere to dispatch in advance, from prae before + mittere to send
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 premise

late 14c., in logic, "a previous proposition from which another follows," from Old French premisse (14c.), from Medieval Latin premissa (propositio or sententia) "(the proposition) set before," noun use of fem. past participle of Latin praemittere "send forward, put before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + mittere "to send" (see mission). In legal documents it meant "matter previously stated" (early 15c.), which in deeds or wills often was a house or building, hence the extended meaning "house or building, with grounds" (1730).


"to state before something else," mid-15c., from premise (n.). Related: Premised; premising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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