Definition of infer in English:

infer

Line breaks: infer
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfəː
 
/

verb (infers, inferring, inferred)

[with object]

Derivatives

inferable

(also inferrable) adjective
More 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.

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'.

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.

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