"Allege" is a close one, but it related to something illegal or wrong. Is there a word just means "assert, but without or before proof."?

Alleged, as an adjective, means that something was said to have taken place, but it has not been proven. It is often used when reporting about a person or incident that occurred, but the person has not yet been tried and convicted of the crime or the incident has not been verified by authorities. Unfortunately it is frequently used incorrectly. In your first example sentence, alleged means "asserted to be true, often without or before proof." -- An answer about alleged on english.stackexchange

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    Maybe claim will do? Definition of claim: state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 13:17
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    Allege is commonly used in the US when it comes to reporting on people accused of wrongdoing because our legal system has the presumption of innocence, but that doesn't mean that it can only be used in that context.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 13:17
  • Assert is an appropriate word. One does not have to have any evidence or proof to assert. Claim also works, as do state, declare, and say.
    – user6951
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 13:36
  • What about assume?
    – Juya
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 13:33

3 Answers 3


IMHO, to assert is already the word you're looking for, in contrast to to prove or to verify. Allege is similar to assert and expresses that the user of the word is not convinced about the truth yet. Other than that, to assume could also apply.

Definitions from Oxford dictionaries:

assert State a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

allege [as you said] Claim or assert that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically without proof.

assume Suppose to be the case, without proof.

prove Demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument.

verify Make sure or demonstrate that (something) is true, accurate, or justified.

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    Not necessarily expected to be false - using allege acknowledges that you don't know yet whether it is true or false. For example, "He was allegedly a great painter, but I haven't seen any painting of his that was better than average."
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 13:10
  • "Postulate" is also possible. Personally I'd probably just say "claim" unless that doesn't work in the context for some reason.
    – Jay
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 16:01
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    Note that to "assert" or "allege" something is to say to others that you believe it is true. To "assume", "prove", or "verify" does not imply anything about telling others. You could assume something and never tell anyone. You can't really "assert" something without telling anyone, except, I suppose, in the sense that you could say "He said to himself" or "He said to the empty room".
    – Jay
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 16:03

I believe you're looking for the word "posit".

pos•it (ˈpɒz ɪt) v.t. 1. to lay down or assume as a fact or principle; postulate. 2. to place, put, or set. n. 3. something posited; assumption; postulate.

posit. (n.d.) Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary. (2010). Retrieved January 22 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/posit

  • Why the downvotes?
    – jcm
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 23:09

Are you looking for something like "speculation"(to speculate)?

What also comes to my mind is "assumption"(to assume) or "presumption" - they are weaker.


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