Meaning of “suppose” in the English Dictionary

"suppose" in British English

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uk /səˈpəʊz/ us /səˈpoʊz/

suppose verb (THINK LIKELY)

A2 [ T ] to think that something is likely to be true:

[ + (that) ] Dan didn't answer his phone, so I suppose (that) he's busy.
He found it a lot more difficult to get a job than he supposed it would be.
[ + (that) ] Do you suppose (that) Gillian will marry him?
It is widely supposed (that) the CEO will be forced to resign.
[ + to infinitive ] We all supposed him to be German, but in fact he was Swiss.
Her new book is supposed to be (= generally people think it is) very good.

[ + (that) ] used to show that you think something is true, although you wish that it were not:

I suppose (that) all the tickets will be sold by now.

[ + (that) ] used when you are annoyed:

I suppose (that) you're going to be late again.
I suppose (that) you think that's funny. Well, I certainly don't.

B1 used to show unwillingness to agree:

"Can I go out tonight?" "Oh, I suppose so."
[ + (that) ] I don't agree with it, but I suppose (that) it's for the best.

[ + (that) ] used in making polite requests:

I don't suppose (that) you could lend me £5 till tomorrow?

More examples

  • Responsibility, I suppose, is what defines adulthood.
  • I suppose his criticism was fair comment .
  • I suppose I could get on with the ironing while I'm waiting.
  • I don't suppose there's any left-over pie going, is there?
  • I didn't realize that Melanie hadn't been to college - I suppose I just took it for granted.


uk /səˈpəʊz/ us /səˈpoʊz/ also supposing

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

"suppose" in American English

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supposeverb [ I/T ]

us /səˈpoʊz/

suppose verb [ I/T ] (THINK LIKELY)

to expect or believe:

[ I ] "Will you be going with them?" "Yes, I suppose (so)."
[ + (that) clause ] "You don’t suppose (that) they forgot about meeting us, do you?"

Suppose can also show that you are guessing about something:

[ T ] I suppose it’s about six months since I last had the brakes checked.


us /səˈpoʊz/ also supposing, /səˈpoʊ·zɪŋ/

suppose conjunction (WHAT IF)

(used at the beginning of a sentence or clause) what would happen if:

Suppose we miss the train – what would we do then?
Supposing that you had that opportunity, Mrs. Gallagher, what would you say?

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