v. as·sumed, as·sum·ing, as·sumes
1. To take for granted; suppose: The study assumes that prices will rise.
a. To take upon oneself (a duty or obligation): assume responsibility; assume another's debts.
b. To undertake the duties of (an office): assumed the presidency.
a. To take on (an appearance, role, or form, for example); adopt: "The god assumes a human form" (John Ruskin).
b. To pretend to have; feign: assume an air of authority.
4. To take over without justification; seize: assume control.
5. To clothe oneself in; don: The queen assumed a velvet robe.
6. To take up or receive into heaven.
To make a supposition; suppose or believe: "Is Kay's husband coming to dinner too?" "I assume so."
[Middle English assumen, from Latin assūmere : ad-, ad- + sūmere, to take; see em- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.