See also: présupposition



From Middle French présupposition, from Latin praesuppositio, from the past participle stem of praesupponere (to presuppose).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /pɹiː.sʌ.pəˈzɪ.ʃ(ə)n/


presupposition (countable and uncountable, plural presuppositions)

  1. An assumption made beforehand; a preliminary conjecture or speculation.
    • 2010, Guy Deutscher, Through the Language Glass, Arrow 2011, p. 40:
      He made one cardinal error in his presuppositions about the relation between language and perception, but in this he was far from alone.
  2. The act of presupposing.
  3. (linguistics) An assumption or belief implicit in an utterance or other use of language.
    • 1971, Paul Kiparsky and Carol Kiparsky, “Fact”, in Danny Steinberg and Leon Jakobovits, editors, Semantics: An Interdisciplinary Reader in Philosophy, Linguistics and Psychology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 351:
      For instance: a verb might convey someone's evaluation of it as a presupposition. To say ‘they deprived him of a visit to his parents’ presupposes that he wanted to visit (vs. ‘spare him a visit...’).