American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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PRESUMP'TION, noun [Latin proesumption.]

1. Supposition of the truth or real existence of something without direct or positive proof of the fact, but grounded on circumstantial or probable evidence which entitles it to belief. presumption in law is of three sorts, violent or strong, probable, and light.

Next to positive proof, circumstantial evidence or the doctrine of presumptions must take place; for when the fact cannot be demonstratively evinced, that which comes nearest to the proof of the fact is the proof of such circumstances as either necessarily or usually attend such facts. These are called presumptions. Violent presumption is many times equal to full proof.

2. Strong probability; as in the common phrase, the presumption is that an event has taken place, or will take place.

3. Blind or headstrong confidence; unreasonable adventurousness; a venturing to undertake something without reasonable prospect of success, or against the usual probabilities of safety; presumptuousness.

Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath.

I had the presumption to dedicate to you a very unfinished price.

4. Arrogance. He had the presumption to attempt to dictate to the council.

5. Unreasonable confidence in divine favor.

The awe of his majesty will keep us from presumption