presume
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /pɹɪˈzjuːm/
  • (America) IPA: /pɹiˈz(j)um/, /pɹəˈz(j)um/
  • (Aus) IPA: /pɹɪˈzjuːm/, /pɹɪˈʒuːm/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /pɹɘˈzjʉːm/, /pɹɘˈʒʉːm/
Verb

presume (presumes, present participle presuming; past and past participle presumed)

  1. (transitive) With infinitive object: to be so presumptuous as (to do something) without proper authority or permission. [from 14th c.]
    I wouldn't presume to tell him how to do his job.
  2. (transitive, now rare) To perform, do (something) without authority; to lay claim to without permission. [from 14th c.]
    Don't make the decision yourself and presume too much.
  3. (transitive) To assume or suggest to be true (without proof); to take for granted, to suppose. [from 14th c.]
    Paw-prints in the snow presume a visit from next door's cat.
    Dr. Livingstone, I presume?
    • 2011, John Patterson, The Guardian, 5 Feb 2011:
      If we presume that human cloning may one day become a mundane, everyday reality, then maybe it's time to start thinking more positively about our soon-to-arrive genetically engineered pseudo-siblings.
  4. (intransitive) To be presumptuous; with on, upon, to take advantage (of), to take liberties (with). [from 15th c.]
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 22;
      Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain;
      Thou gavest me thine, not to give back again.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 75:
      Piliso then vented his anger on us, accusing us of lying to him. He said we had presumed on his hospitality and the good name of the regent.
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