American English

Definition of suppose verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they suppose
    he / she / it supposes
    past simple supposed
    -ing form supposing
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to think or believe that something is true or possible (based on the knowledge that you have) Getting a good job isn't as easy as you might suppose. Prices will go up,I suppose. suppose somebody/something to be/have something (formal) This combination of qualities is generally supposed to be extremely rare. suppose somebody/something + adj. (formal) She had supposed him (to be) very rich. suppose somebody/something + noun (formal) I had supposed his wife a younger woman. suppose (that)… I don't suppose for a minute that he'll agree (= I'm sure that he won't). Why do you suppose he resigned? I suppose all the tickets have been sold by now. There is no reason to suppose she's lying. I suppose you think it's funny, don't you? (= showing anger) “That” is nearly always left out, especially in speech.
  2. 2[transitive] to pretend that something is true; to imagine what would happen if something were true suppose (that)… Suppose flights are full on that day—which other day could we go? Let us suppose, for example, that you are married with two children. suppose something (formal) The theory supposes the existence of life on other planets. suppose somebody/something (to be/have) something suppose somebody/something + adj./noun (formal) They supposed him (to be) dead—but what if he wasn't?
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] used to make a statement, request, or suggestion less direct or less strong I could take you in the car,I suppose (= but I don't really want to). “Can I borrow the car?” “Isuppose so(= Yes, but I'm not happy about it). What I'm saying, I suppose, is that she's not really right for the job. suppose (that)… I don't suppose (that)I could have the day off, could I? Suppose we take a later flight?
  4. Idioms
      be supposed to do/be something
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    1. 1to be expected or required to do/be something according to a rule, a custom, an arrangement, etc. You're supposed to buy a ticket, but not many people do. I thought we were supposed to be paid today. The engine doesn't sound like it's supposed to. You were supposed to be here an hour ago! How was I supposed to know you were waiting for me? “Yes and no.” “What is that supposed to mean?” (= showing that you are annoyed)
    2. 2to be generally believed or expected to be/do something I haven't seen it myself, but it's supposed to be a great movie. She's supposed to have had hundreds of lovers.
    not be supposed to do something
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    to not be allowed to do something You're not supposed to walk on the grass.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: suppose