verb[no object, usually with clause]
- Suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it: he surmised that something must be wrong [with direct speech]: ‘I don’t think they’re locals,’ she surmisedMore example sentences
guess, conjecture, suspect, deduce, infer, come to the conclusion, conclude, theorize, speculate, glean, divine; assume, presume, suppose, understand, gather, feel, have a sneaking suspicion, hazard a guess, sense, be of the opinion, think, believe, imagine, judge, fancy, reckon• formal opine
- Given this evidence, local police surmised that perhaps Weed was drunk and accidentally fell off the balcony.
- They surmised that it must be a tractor with two different tires on it.
- The doctor stopped walking, and McNulty surmised that they must be outside Marx's room.
nounBack to top
- A supposition that something may be true, even though there is no evidence to confirm it: Charles was glad to have his surmise confirmed [mass noun]: all these observations remain surmiseMore example sentences
- The international coalition the White House is assembling will fracture if it is asked to act based on hunches and surmises.
- It is unjust to start bombing on the basis of those surmises.
- I was surprised with just how accurate some of their surmises were, though.
late Middle English (in the senses 'formal allegation' and 'allege formally'): from Anglo-Norman French and Old French surmise, feminine past participle of surmettre 'accuse', from late Latin supermittere 'put in afterwards', from super- 'over' + mittere 'send'.