Meaning of “assume” in the English Dictionary

"assume" in British English

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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

  • If you haven't heard by Friday, assume I'm not coming.
  • She was young and she was wearing student-type clothes so I assumed she was studying here.
  • There was a knock at the door. Now Jan knew her mother had promised to visit, so she assumed it was her.
  • They were chatting quite amiably on the phone last night so I assumed everything was okay.
  • I assumed things had gone well for him as he had a big grin on his face.

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

"assume" in American English

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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

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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)