Definition of infer in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈfər/

verb (infers, inferring, inferred)

[with object]
Deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements: [with clause]: from these facts we can infer that crime has been increasing
More example sentences
  • Rather, Matt is inferring it from all the talk of Social Security's problems starting in 2018.
  • I shall now suggest five reasons for inferring God as their source or ground.
  • This prejudice is inferred, and no evidence is required to enable a judge to consider it.
deduce, conclude, conjecture, surmise, reason, interpret;
gather, understand, presume, assume, take it, extrapolate;
read between the lines, figure (out)
informal reckon


There is a distinction in meaning between infer and imply. In the sentence the speaker implied that the general had been a traitor, the word implied means that something in the speaker’s words ‘suggested’ that this man was a traitor (although nothing so explicit was actually stated). However, in we inferred from his words that the general had been a traitor, the word inferred means that something in the speaker’s words enabled the listeners to ‘deduce’ that the man was a traitor. The two words infer and imply can describe the same event, but from different angles. Mistakes occur when infer is used to mean imply, as in are you inferring that I’m a liar? (instead of are you implying that I’m a liar?).



Pronunciation: /inˈfərəb(ə)l/
(also inferrable) adjective
Example sentences
  • A link does not itself constitute a specifically inferable opinion on what is being linked to.
  • As larger numbers of DNA locations are deciphered more characteristics will be inferrable from DNA sequences.
  • Whatever causality is, causal relations should be inferrable in everyday common sense settings.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'bring about, inflict'): from Latin inferre 'bring in, bring about' (in medieval Latin 'deduce'), from in- 'into' + ferre 'bring'.

  • The early sense recorded for infer is ‘bring about, inflict’ from Latin inferre ‘bring in, bring about’, which in medieval Latin came to mean ‘deduce’. The base elements are in- ‘into’ and ferre ‘bring’. Infer expresses the idea that something in the speaker's words enables the listener to ‘deduce’ what is meant; imply (Late Middle English) from Latin implicare ‘fold in’, expresses the notion that something in the speaker's words ‘suggests’ a certain meaning.

Words that rhyme with infer

à deux, agent provocateur, astir, auteur, aver, bestir, blur, bon viveur, burr, Chandigarh, coiffeur, concur, confer, connoisseur, cordon-bleu, cri de cœur, cur, danseur, Darfur, defer, demur, de rigueur, deter, entrepreneur, er, err, farceur, faute de mieux, fir, flâneur, Fleur, force majeure, fur, hauteur, her, inter, jongleur, Kerr, littérateur, longueur, masseur, Monseigneur, monsieur, Montesquieu, Montreux, murre, myrrh, occur, pas de deux, Pasteur, per, pisteur, poseur, pot-au-feu, prefer, prie-dieu, pudeur, purr, raconteur, rapporteur, refer, répétiteur, restaurateur, saboteur, sabreur, seigneur, Sher, shirr, sir, skirr, slur, souteneur, spur, stir, tant mieux, transfer, Ur, vieux jeu, voyageur, voyeur, were, whirr

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·fer

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