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From Latin assūmō (accept, take), from ad- (to, towards, at) + sūmō (take up, assume).



assume (third-person singular simple present assumes, present participle assuming, simple past and past participle assumed)

  1. To authenticate by means of belief; to surmise; to suppose to be true, especially without proof
    We assume that, as her parents were dentists, she knows quite a bit about dentistry.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet. Perhaps we assume that our name, address and search preferences will be viewed by some unseen pair of corporate eyes, probably not human, and don't mind that much.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:assume.
  2. To take on a position, duty or form
    Mr. Jones will assume the position of a lifeguard until a proper replacement is found.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
      Trembling they stand while Jove assumes the throne.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], OCLC 16832619:
      Such a scandal as the prosecution of a brother for forgery—with a verdict of guilty—is a most truly horrible, deplorable, fatal thing. It takes the respectability out of a family perhaps at a critical moment, when the family is just assuming the robes of respectability: [] it is a black spot which all the soaps ever advertised could never wash off.
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, →ISBN, page 96:
      His unruly hair was slicked down with water, and as Jessamy introduced him to Miss Brindle his face assumed a cherubic innocence which would immediately have aroused the suspicions of anyone who knew him.
    • 2012 August 5, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “I Love Lisa” (season 4, episode 15; originally aired 02/11/1993)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      So while Ralph generally seems to inhabit a different, more glorious and joyful universe than everyone else here his yearning and heartbreak are eminently relateable. Ralph sometimes appears to be a magically demented sprite who has assumed the form of a boy, but he’s never been more poignantly, nakedly, movingly human than he is here.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:assume.
  3. To adopt a feigned quality or manner; to claim without right; to arrogate
  4. To receive, adopt (a person)
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Scott
      The sixth was a young knight of lesser renown and lower rank, assumed into that honorable company.
  5. To adopt (an idea or cause)


Related termsEdit



  • assume” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.








  1. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present indicative of assumir
  2. second-person singular (tu, sometimes used with você) affirmative imperative of assumir