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Syllabification: con·jec·ture
Pronunciation: /kənˈjekCHər

Definition of conjecture in English:


1An opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information: conjectures about the newcomer were many and varied the purpose of the opening in the wall is open to conjecture
More example sentences
  • At the same time, I willingly sign up to support longer-range conjectures about the place and purpose of social tools, in general, and explicit software networking technologies, in specific.
  • For the rest of the morning she issued conjectures about the change in her social status this swingset would bring about.
  • So we sat, the last few hours, thinking about the last few months and making conjectures about the future.
inference, (an) extrapolation;
an estimate
informal a guesstimate, a shot in the dark, a ballpark figure
1.1An unproven mathematical or scientific theorem: the Goldbach conjecture
More example sentences
  • Scientific theories are conjectures based upon interpretations of the data, and therefore are never ‘proven’, but merely supported or not by such interpretations.
  • He proposed a demarcation criterion that, in his view, made the distinction between scientific theories and non-scientific conjectures.
  • Everyone knows it holds true for every number you can think of but provide rigorous mathematical proof and you win yourself a million bucks - courtesy of the book's publisher, and in the process turn a conjecture into a theorem.
1.2(In textual criticism) the suggestion or reconstruction of a reading of a text not present in the original source.
Example sentences
  • He was as sparing with critical opinions as he was with textual conjecture - only about ten percent of his notes might be called judicial.
  • He is aware of the present trend away from textual conjecture.


[with object] Back to top  
1Form an opinion or supposition about (something) on the basis of incomplete information: he conjectured the existence of an otherwise unknown feature many conjectured that she had a second husband in mind
More example sentences
  • Therefore, this hypothesis conjectures that population density should be positively correlated with patch area.
  • It was conjectured that a spiral walkway would have led around the hill allowing a procession to reach the 120-foot high summit for pre-historic ceremonies.
  • It is conjectured that natural selection tuned the average connectivity in such a way that the network reaches a sparse graph of connections.
1.1(In textual criticism) propose (a reading).
Example sentences
  • As he conjectures that the story is not about the mutually longed-for tryst that he had read into her letters, he questions his own ability to interpret what is figured in a text.
  • There are several cases, however, where I have had to conjecture a reading of the text in order to make sense of it.


late Middle English (in the senses 'to divine' and 'divination'): from Old French, or from Latin conjectura, from conicere 'put together in thought', from con- 'together' + jacere 'throw'.



Example sentences
  • It is conjecturable that the temperature in these regions will increase up to 4°C.
  • It is a mix of threes & fours, at which I arrived when I wondered what other conjecturable particles besides tachyons may be conceived through the exploration of special-relativistic equations.
  • It is always the similar which is capable of knowing the similar; reason knows the intelligible things; science, the knowable things; opinion, conjecturable things; sensation, sensible things.

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