- transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin assumere, from ad- + sumere to take — more at consume
Date: 15th century
a. to take up or in ; receive
b. to take into partnership, employment, or use
a. to take to or upon oneself ; undertake <assume responsibility> b. put on, don c. to place oneself in <assume a position> 3. seize, usurp <assume control> 4. to pretend to have or be ; feign < 5. to take as granted or true ; suppose <I assume he'll be there> 6. to take over (the debts of another) as one's own • assumability noun • assumable adjective • assumably adverb Synonyms: assume, affect, pretend, simulate, feign, counterfeit, sham mean to put on a false or deceptive appearance. assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive <assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients>. affect implies making a false show of possessing, using, or feeling <affected an interest in art>. pretend implies an overt and sustained false appearance <pretended that nothing had happened>. simulate suggests a close imitation of the appearance of something <cosmetics that simulate a suntan>. feign implies more artful invention than pretend less specific mimicry than simulate <feigned sickness>. counterfeit implies achieving the highest degree of verisimilitude of any of these words <an actor counterfeiting drunkenness>. sham implies an obvious falseness that fools only the gullible <shammed a most unconvincing limp>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.