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infer

Line breaks: infer
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfəː
 
/

Definition of infer in English:

verb (infers, inferring, inferred)

[with object]
Deduce or conclude (something) 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.
Synonyms
deduce, reason, work out, conclude, come to the conclusion, draw the inference, conjecture, surmise, theorize, hypothesize;
gather, understand, presume, assume, take it, come to understand, glean, extrapolate, reckon;
North American figure
British informal suss, suss out
archaic collect

Origin

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'.

More
  • 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.

Usage

There is a distinction in meaning between infer and imply. In the sentence the speaker implied that the General had been a traitor, implied means that the speaker subtly suggested that this man was a traitor (though nothing so explicit was actually stated). However, in we inferred from his words that the General had been a traitor, 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. Use of infer to mean imply, as in are you inferring that I’m a liar? (instead of are you implying that I’m a liar?), is an extremely common error.

Derivatives

inferable

1
(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.

Definition of infer in:

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