English

Definition of suppose verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    suppose

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//səˈpəʊz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//səˈpoʊz//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they suppose
    BrE BrE//səˈpəʊz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//səˈpoʊz//
     
    he / she / it supposes
    BrE BrE//səˈpəʊzɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//səˈpoʊzɪz//
     
    past simple supposed
    BrE BrE//səˈpəʊzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//səˈpoʊzd//
     
    past participle supposed
    BrE BrE//səˈpəʊzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//səˈpoʊzd//
     
    -ing form supposing
    BrE BrE//ˈpəʊzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpoʊzɪŋ//
     
     
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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 visa isn't as simple 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 (to be/have) something | 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 now, have they? There is no reason to suppose she's lying. I suppose you think it's funny, do 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 fully booked 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) Suppose him (to be) dead—what then?
  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?’ ‘I suppose so(= Yes, but I'm not happy about it). What I’m saying, I suppose, is that she’s not really suitable for the job. suppose (that)… I don’t suppose (that) I could have a look at your newspaper, could I? Suppose we take a later train?
  4. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French supposer, from Latin supponere (from sub- ‘from below’ + ponere ‘to place’), but influenced by Latin suppositus ‘set under’ and Old French poser ‘to place’.Extra examples There is no reason to suppose she’s lying. ‘Can I borrow the car?’ ‘I suppose so.’ Getting a visa isn’t as easy as you might suppose. I could take you in the car, I suppose. I don’t suppose I could have a look at your newspaper, could I? I don’t suppose for a minute that he’ll agree. I had supposed his wife a much younger woman. I suppose you think that’s funny! It’s reasonable to suppose that he left the note after he tried to call her. Prices will go up, I suppose. She had supposed him (to be) extremely rich. Suppose all the flights are booked on that day. Which other day could we go? Suppose him dead—what then? This theory supposes the existence of life on other planets. What I’m saying, I suppose, is that she’s not really suitable for the job. What do you suppose happened to her? Why do you suppose he resigned?Idioms
      be supposed to do/be something
       
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    1. 1  to 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) Express YourselfAsking about obligationWhen you are unsure about what is expected of you in a situation, you can ask about obligations: What time do we have to be home? Are we supposed to show our ID cards? Is it necessary to apply for a visa? Is there a legal obligation to wear a bike helmet here?
    2. 2  to 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 American Dictionary entry: suppose