presume

assume, presume
1. Both words can mean ‘suppose’ and are often interchangeable in this meaning. Fowler (1926) maintained that there is a stronger element of postulation or hypothesis in assume and of a belief held on the basis of external evidence in presume, but in practice the uses are not always that distinct. Both words can be followed by a that-clause (or one with that omitted), by an object followed by a to-infinitive, or by a simple object: (assume)

• Throughout the book…the authors assume the validity of neo-classical economics as taught in the United States —Times Literary Supplement, 1974

• When you're young you assume everybody old knows what they're doing —Martin Amis, 1987

• This is assumed to refer to some sort of demonstration similar to April's Peking riot —Daily Telegraph, 1976

• (presume) I often hear the ungrammatical term ‘one pence’. I presume this is because the occurrence of a single penny is becoming a thing of the past —Daily Telegraph, 1974

• The Able Criminal…may be presumed…to be emotionally stable and ‘well-adjusted’ —Eric Ambler, 1977.

2. Assume and presume also coincide in a range of meaning that may be summarized as ‘to take on oneself’, although you generally assume roles and identities but presume attitudes and bearings. The intransitive use with a to infinitive is available only with presume. Examples:

• He was writing ‘Gerontion’, a dramatic monologue in which he assumes the persona of the ‘little old man’ —Peter Ackroyd, 1984

• He looked surprised —almost annoyed —as if a servant had presumed too great a familiarity —P. P. Read, 1981

• It is a reckless ambassador who would presume to preempt his chiefs —Henry Kissinger, 1979.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • présumé — présumé, ée [ prezyme ] adj. • 1835; de présumer ♦ Que l on croit tel par hypothèse. ⇒ supposé. Son fils présumé. ⇒ putatif. Ses intentions présumées. Présumé innocent. Innocent ou présumé tel. présumé, ée adj. Cru par supposition, censé, réputé …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • presume — pre·sume /pri züm/ vt pre·sumed, pre·sum·ing: to suppose to be true without proof or before inquiry: accept as a presumption must presume the defendant is innocent Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • presume — [prē zo͞om′, prēzyo͞om′, prizo͞om′, prizyo͞om′] vt. presumed, presuming [ME presumen < OFr presumer < L praesumere < prae , before (see PRE ) + sumere, to take: see CONSUME] 1. to take upon oneself without permission or authority; dare… …   English World dictionary

  • Presume — Pre*sume , v. i. 1. To suppose or assume something to be, or to be true, on grounds deemed valid, though not amounting to proof; to believe by anticipation; to infer; as, we may presume too far. [1913 Webster] 2. To venture, go, or act, by an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • présumé — présumé, mée (pré zu mé, mée) part. passé de présumer. 1°   Jugé vraisemblable. •   Une grâce, ainsi que tout autre don, n est légitime qu avec le consentement, du moins présumé, de celui qui la reçoit, J. J. ROUSS. 1er dial.. 2°   Censé, réputé …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Presume — Pre*sume , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Presumed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Presuming}.] [F. pr[ e]sumer, L. praesumere, praesumptum; prae before + sumere to take. See {Assume}, {Redeem}.] 1. To assume or take beforehand; esp., to do or undertake without leave… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • presume — [v1] make assumption; believe assume, bank on*, be afraid, conclude, conjecture, consider, count on, depend, figure, gather, guess, infer, jump the gun*, posit, postulate, predicate, premise, presuppose, pretend, rely, speculate, suppose, surmise …   New thesaurus

  • presume — ► VERB 1) suppose that something is probably the case. 2) take for granted. 2) be arrogant enough to do something. 4) (presume on/upon) unjustifiably regard (something) as entitling one to privileges. DERIVATIVES presumable adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • presume on — index accroach Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • presume — (v.) late 14c., to take upon oneself, to take liberty, also to take for granted, presuppose, especially overconfidently, from O.Fr. presumer (12c.), from L. praesumere (see PRESUMPTION (Cf. presumption)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • presume — *presuppose, postulate, premise, posit, assume Analogous words: surmise, Conjecture: deduce, *infer, judge, gather, conclude …   New Dictionary of Synonyms


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.