Definition of implicature in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈimplikəCHər/


1The action of implying a meaning beyond the literal sense of what is explicitly stated, e.g., saying the frame is nice and implying I don’t like the picture in it.
Example sentences
  • In saying ‘Some dogs are mammals,’ the speaker conveys by implicature that not all dogs are mammals.
  • But on the other hand, what is said can be notoriously elusive - especially in just those cases that the theory of conversational implicature was supposed to illuminate.
  • The so-called discourse implicature refers to the intention of interlocutors inferred in verbal expressions, textual versions or non-verbal behavior that are rooted on specific cultural awareness.
1.1A meaning so implied.
Example sentences
  • This work is also relevant to the treatment of scalar implicatures in the reasoning literature.
  • I'd say that conversational implicatures should be those that are generated in roughly Gricean fashion, and that not all of these are cancelable.
  • Overall, these findings indicate that children do not treat all scalar terms alike and, more importantly, that children's ability to derive scalar implicatures is affected by their awareness of the goal of the task.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: im·pli·ca·ture

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.