from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To assume to be true or real for the sake of argument or explanation: Suppose we win the lottery.
  • transitive v. To believe, especially on uncertain or tentative grounds: Scientists supposed that large dinosaurs lived in swamps.
  • transitive v. To consider to be probable or likely: I suppose it will rain.
  • transitive v. To imply as an antecedent condition; presuppose: "Patience must suppose pain” ( Samuel Johnson).
  • transitive v. To consider as a suggestion: Suppose we dine together.
  • intransitive v. To imagine; conjecture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To take for granted; to conclude, with less than absolute supporting data; to believe.
  • v. To theorize or hypothesize.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Supposition.
  • intransitive v. To make supposition; to think; to be of opinion.
  • transitive v. To represent to one's self, or state to another, not as true or real, but as if so, and with a view to some consequence or application which the reality would involve or admit of; to imagine or admit to exist, for the sake of argument or illustration; to assume to be true; as, let us suppose the earth to be the center of the system, what would be the result?
  • transitive v. To imagine; to believe; to receive as true.
  • transitive v. To require to exist or to be true; to imply by the laws of thought or of nature.
  • transitive v. To put by fraud in the place of another.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To infer hypothetically; conceive a state of things, and dwell upon the idea (at least for a moment) with an inclination to believe it true, due to the agreement of its consequences with observed fact, but not free from doubt.
  • To make a hypothesis; formulate a proposition without reference to its being true or false, with a view of tracing out its consequences.
  • To assume as true without reflection; presume; opine; believe.
  • To imply; involve as a further proposition or consequence; proceed from, as from a hypothesis.
  • To put, as one thing by fraud in the place of another.
  • To make or form a supposition; think; imagine.
  • n. Supposition; presumption; conjecture; opinion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. require as a necessary antecedent or precondition
  • v. express a supposition
  • v. to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
  • v. take for granted or as a given; suppose beforehand
  • v. expect, believe, or suppose


Middle English supposen, from Old French supposer, alteration (influenced by poser, to place) of Medieval Latin suppōnere, from Latin, to put under : sub-, sub- + pōnere, to place.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French supposer; prefix sub- under + poser to place; - corresponding in meaning to Latin supponere, suppositum, to put under, to substitute, falsify, counterfeit. See pose. (Wiktionary)


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  • This is a nice sentence qualifier so you can backtrack later :)

    November 22, 2007

  • No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is suppose that they are like himself.
    --John Steinbeck, 1961, The Winter of Our Discontent

    November 22, 2007