WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
pos•tu•late /USA pronunciationv. ˈpɑstʃəˌleɪt; n. -lɪt, -ˌleɪt/ v., -lat•ed, -lat•ing, n. 

  • to suggest or assume the existence or truth of (something), esp. as a basis for further reasoning: [+ object]She postulated an increase in population and went on from there to form a theory of population change.[+ that clause]began by postulating that good and evil exist in all people.

  • n. [countable]
  • something assumed to be true and used as a basis for reasoning:a postulate that human beings were created for a purpose.
  • pos•tu•la•tion /ˌpɑstʃəˈleɪʃən/USA pronunciation
      n. [uncountable]

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    pos•tu•late  (v. poschə lāt′;n. poschə lit, -lāt′), 
    v., -lat•ed, -lat•ing, n. 

  • to ask, demand, or claim.
  • to claim or assume the existence or truth of, esp. as a basis for reasoning or arguing.
  • to assume without proof, or as self-evident;
    take for granted.
  • Mathematics, Philosophy[Math., Logic.]to assume as a postulate.

  • n. 
  • something taken as self-evident or assumed without proof as a basis for reasoning.
  • Mathematics, Philosophy[Math., Logic.]a proposition that requires no proof, being self-evident, or that is for a specific purpose assumed true, and that is used in the proof of other propositions;
  • a fundamental principle.
  • a necessary condition;
  • Etymology:
    • Latin postulātum petition, thing requested, noun, nominal use of neuter of past participle of postulāre to request, demand, akin to pōscere to request
    • 1525–35
    pos′tu•lation, n. 
    pos′tu•lation•al, adj. 
    3 . hypothecate, presuppose, conjecture. 5 . hypothesis, theory;
    assumption, conjecture.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    postulate vb /ˈpɒstjʊˌleɪt/(tr; may take a clause as object)
    1. to assume to be true or existent; take for granted
    2. to ask, demand, or claim
    3. to nominate (a person) to a post or office subject to approval by a higher authority
    n /ˈpɒstjʊlɪt/
    1. something taken as self-evident or assumed as the basis of an argument
    2. a necessary condition or prerequisite
    3. a fundamental principle
    4. an unproved and indemonstrable statement that should be taken for granted: used as an initial premise or underlying hypothesis in a process of reasoning
    Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin postulāre to ask for, require; related to pōscere to request

    ˌpostuˈlation n


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