Open main menu

Wiktionary β

See also: présumé and présume



Alternative formsEdit


From Anglo-Norman presumer, Middle French presumer, and their source, Latin praesūmere (to take beforehand, anticipate), from prae- + sūmere (to take).



presume (third-person singular simple present presumes, present participle presuming, simple past and past participle presumed)

  1. (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.
  2. (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.
  3. (transitive) To assume to be true (without proof); to take for granted, to suppose. [from 14th c.]
    • 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.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, volume II, chapter 15:
      Emma was not required, by any subsequent discovery, to retract her ill opinion of Mrs. Elton. Her observation had been pretty correct. Such as Mrs. Elton appeared to her on this second interview, such she appeared whenever they met again,—self-important, presuming, familiar, ignorant, and ill-bred.
    • 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.


  • Paw prints in the snow presume a visit from next door's cat.
  • Dr. Livingstone, I presume?


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.





  1. third-person singular indicative present of presumere






  1. Informal second-person singular () affirmative imperative form of presumir.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present indicative form of presumir.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present indicative form of presumir.