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[pri-zuhmp-shuh n] /prɪˈzʌmp ʃən/
the act of presuming.
assumption of something as true.
belief on reasonable grounds or probable evidence.
something that is presumed; an assumption.
a ground or reason for presuming or believing.
Law. an inference required or permitted by law as to the existence of one fact from proof of the existence of other facts.
an assumption, often not fully established, that is taken for granted in some piece of reasoning.
unwarrantable, unbecoming, or impertinent boldness.
Origin of presumption
1175-1225; Middle English: effrontery, supposition < Latin praesūmptiōn- (stem of praesūmptiō) anticipation, supposition, Late Latin: presumptuousness, equivalent to praesūmpt(us) (past participle of praesūmere to undertake beforehand; see presume) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
overpresumption, noun
Can be confused
assumption, axiom, premise, presumption.
8. audacity, effrontery, arrogance, gall. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for presumption
  • The presumption of innocence has nothing to do with any of the above.
  • Current conversations about resurrecting the gold standard should focus on this underlying presumption of the standard.
  • Recognize that the presumption of innocence is there for a good reason and let the legal process take its course.
  • The presumption has been that smoking renders people vulnerable to disease by impairing lung function or immunity.
  • There should be a strong presumption against using the state to veto personal choice during pregnancy.
  • All governments, therefore, work under a corresponding presumption of action.
  • There's a presumption that comments are relevant and intelligently contributory.
  • The original version relied on the presumption that it could.
  • Two prior convictions raise the presumption to a mandatory life term.
  • presumption of failure can be undermined by reality.
British Dictionary definitions for presumption


the act of presuming
bold or insolent behaviour or manners
a belief or assumption based on reasonable evidence
a ground or basis on which to presume
(law) an inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved, admitted, or judicially noticed
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin praesumptiō a using in advance, anticipation, from praesūmere to take beforehand; see presume
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 presumption

mid-13c., "seizure and occupation without right," also "taking upon oneself more than is warranted," from Old French presumcion (12c., Modern French présomption) and directly from Late Latin praesumptionem (nominative praesumptio) "confidence, audacity," in classical Latin, "a taking for granted, anticipation," noun of action from past participle stem of praesumere "to take beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sumere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). In English, the meaning "the taking of something for granted" is attested from c.1300. Presumptuous preserves the older sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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