Meaning of “assume” in the English Dictionary

"assume" in English

See all translations

assumeverb [ T ]

uk /əˈsjuːm/ us /əˈsuːm/

assume verb [ T ] (ACCEPT)

B2 to accept something to be true without question or proof:

[ + (that) ] I assumed (that) you knew each other because you went to the same school.
Let's assume (that) they're coming and make plans on that basis.
[ + to infinitive ] We can't assume the suspects to be guilty simply because they've decided to remain silent.
We mustn't assume the suspects' guilt.

More examples

(Definition of “assume” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"assume" in American English

See all translations

assumeverb [ T ]

us /əˈsum/

assume verb [ T ] (ACCEPT)

to accept something as true without question or proof:

[ + (that) clause ] We can’t assume (that) he’s innocent simply because he says he is.
[ + (that) clause ] I assumed (that) nobody was home because the car wasn’t in the driveway.

assume verb [ T ] (PRETEND)

to pretend to be someone you are not, or to express a feeling falsely:

During the investigation, two detectives assumed the identities of antique dealers.
Jim assumed a look of indifference.

assume verb [ T ] (TAKE CONTROL)

to take control or claim authority, sometimes without the right to do so:

The new president assumes office in January.

If you assume responsibility for something, you become responsible for it.

(Definition of “assume” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"assume" in Business English

See all translations

assumeverb [ T ]

uk /əˈsjuːm/ us

to begin to take control of something:

assume control/office/a role Europe has assumed a leadership role in the prevention of future global crises.
assume responsibility for sth The FSA said mortgages would not be affected when it assumed responsibility for the regulation of mortgage sales.
assume a debt/mortgage/risk In addition to paying $3 billion in cash, the newspaper group will assume $600 million of the company’s debt.

to accept that something is true without being sure about it:

We are assuming a 6% growth in sales.
assume that We can safely assume that we are ahead of the competition with this product.
Assuming that all goes well, how long is the project expected to take?

to be based on a particular idea:

These figures assume that inflation will rise no higher than 2%.

(Definition of “assume” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.


Not, as you might assume, for ideological reasons, although of course ideological reasons are not easily dismissed, but for reasons of competitiveness.
We may quite rightly assume that the discussions held resulted in the actual initiation of talks on the content of a new partnership in the fishing industry.
There is no reason to assume that, if a lawyer is acting as a financial adviser, he or she is not exercising his or her profession.
If consumers buy fresh carrots, they must be able to assume that these are untreated and not processed and they do not expect them to be dipped in a preservative.
As there is no such thing as zero risk, scientists - or at least politicians - should apply the criterion of proportionality, consider there to be risks and assume their responsibilities.
In light of the extremely serious situation developing before our very eyes, which may seriously deteriorate, we must assume our responsibilities and turn the tide of war.
Safety should assume an important place.
Will these working methods remain the same, as the document would seem to assume, or will they have to be changed?
Consequently, if we wish to continue to guarantee the principle of abolishing our internal borders, we must be able to assume our responsibilities by better monitoring the external borders.
We cannot assume that our ideas about the future of agriculture will be accepted elsewhere in the world without needing to be explained.