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Assume appears in the following palindromes (phrases that read the same backward as forward):

  • Laminae now assume emus saw one animal.
  • Emus said a fast-nap red nude tart sullied a memo here… were home-made illustrated underpants a fad, I assume?
  • Emus said "Well righto, moth tomfoolery: to revive Rome moths, add a mad dash to memo reviver, O Tyre. Lo, of 'moth to moth’!… girl lewd, I assume."
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The word assume and its family (assumed, assumes, assuming, assumption, assumptions) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the verb assume

What does assume mean as a doing word?

Assume is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: assumed | assuming | assumes

  1. take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof
  2. take on titles, offices, duties, responsibilities
    • example: When will the new President assume office?
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme]Soon, the new President will assume office

      Adopt Verbs (with the same syntax): adopt, take on, take over.

    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonyms of assume: adopt / take on / take over
    • more generic term: take office = assume an office, duty, or title
    • more specific word: resume = assume anew
  3. take on a certain form, attribute, or aspect
    • examples: She assumed strange manners | The gods assume human or animal form in these fables
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 2
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of assume: acquire / adopt / take / take on
    • more generic word: change = undergo a change; become different in essence
    • more specific word: re-assume = take on again, as after a time lapse
  4. take on as one's own the expenses or debts of another person
  5. occupy or take on
    • example: He assumes the lotus position
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 2
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonyms of assume: strike / take / take up
    • more generic word: move = move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  6. seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession
    • example: He assumed to himself the right to fill all positions in the town
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • synonyms of assume: arrogate / seize / take over / usurp
    • more generic word: take = take by force
    • more specific words:
      • annex = take (territory) as if by conquest
      • appropriate / capture / conquer / seize = take possession of by force, as after an invasion
      • preoccupy = occupy or take possession of beforehand or before another or appropriate for use in advance
      • hijack = seize control of
      • raid = take over (a company) by buying a controlling interest of its stock
  7. make a pretence of
    • example: She assumed indifference, even though she was seething with anger
    • lexical domain: Creation - verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing
    • synonyms of assume: feign / sham / simulate
    • more generic words: act / dissemble / pretend = behave unnaturally or affectedly
    • more specific words:
      • play = pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity
      • feint = deceive by a mock action
  8. take up someone's soul into heaven
  9. put clothing on one's body
    • example: The queen assumed the stately robes
    • lexical domain: Body Actions - verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care
    • synonyms of assume: don / get into / put on / wear
    • more generic terms: dress / get dressed = put on clothes
    • more specific terms:
      • hat = put on or wear a hat
      • try on / try = put on a garment in order to see whether it fits and looks nice
      • scarf = wrap in or adorn with a scarf
      • slip on = put on with ease or speed

Alternative definition of the verb assume


  1. To authenticate by means of belief; to surmise; to suppose to be true, especially without proof.
  2. To take on a position or duty.
  3. To adopt an idea or cause.

Phrases with assume

  1. Assume the Mantle
  2. Assume the Position
  3. re-assume

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for assume

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewTravels on the Continent (1820)

Written for the Use and Particular Information of Travellers by Mariana Starke

and persons who venture to walk upon its surface should be especially careful to avoid the cracks and chasms with which it abounds : the colour these chasms assume is a beautiful sea-green ; and the waves of this frozen ocean, which from ...

Google previewJumpstarters for Science Vocabulary, Grades 4 - 8 (2009)

by Linda Armstrong

To assume means to prove. T F 3. To extend means to stretch out. T F 4. To belong means to be left out. T F 5. To conclude means to observe. T F General Science 25 Fill in the missing letters. 1. The temperature in the special cooler remained ...

Google previewRing Theory (1988)

We may assume is an identity of R, by reduction 5. The last ingredient in the proof is based on an ideal of Razmyslov. Since we have trouble working in R, we switch to the free algebra C{X, Y} = C/{X1,...,X,, Y1,..., Y,,'} in noncommuting ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Leadership (2004)

by George R. Goethals, Georgia J. Sorenson, James MacGregor Burns

Assume that everyone will have the same ultimate managerial objectives and will identify with them no matter where they are in the organization or in the hierarchy. 6. . . . assume good will among all the members of the organization rather than ...

Google previewPansegrouw's Crossword Dictionary (1994)

by Louisa Pansegrouw

relax, relieve, repress, satisfy, slacken, slake, soothe, still, subdue, temper assuaging pain anodyne, alleviating as suggested by apropos assume accept, acquire, adopt, affect, affect, appropriate, arrogate, believe, commandeer, counterfeit, ...

Google previewA Valency Dictionary of English (2004)

A Corpus-Based Analysis of the Complementation Patterns of English Verbs, Nouns and Adjectives by Thomas Herbst, David Heath, Ian F. Roe, Dieter Götz

assume V6113 ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for assume

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Usage statistics about assume

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb assume:


Photos about assume

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Small photo of Close up to the dictionary definition of AssumeSmall photo of The garden pansy is a type of large-flowered hybrid plant cultivated as a garden flower. Pansy flower reflects the symbol of faithfulness while its floral intelligence assume the thinking of fans.Small photo of Don't AssumeSmall photo of Don't assume memo written on a notebook with penSmall photo of assume - cube with letters, sign with wooden cubesSmall photo of Take the reins, assume control at Aguanga, CA, USA More...

Video language resources about assume

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See also the pronunciation examples of assume!

Quotes about assume

Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it. (H.L. Mencken)
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Scrabble value of A1S1S1U1M3E1

The value of this 6-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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