Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] assume pronunciation in British English /əˈsjuːm/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleassuming
past tenseassumed
past participleassumed
  1. 1
    to believe that something is true, even though no one has told you or even though you have no proof

    Everyone accepted she was telling the truth, although in fact this was quite a lot to assume.

    assume (that):

    I’m assuming everyone here has an email address.

    I think we can safely assume that he is out of town.

    assume someone/something to be/do something:

    I have always assumed her to be American.

    1. a.
      to be based on the idea that something is true

      This forecast assumes there will be no recession.

      This score is assumed to represent the achievement of an average 7-year-old.

  2. 2
    formal to officially start a new job or position

    He formally assumes the presidency next week.

    She has been invited to assume the role of mentor.

  3. 4
    to begin to have a particular quality, shape, expression etc

    The animals assumed their normal resting position.

    Time with the family has started to assume greater importance.


… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog