Definition of guess in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɡes/


[with object]
1Estimate or suppose (something) without sufficient information to be sure of being correct: she guessed the child’s age to be 14 or 15 [with clause]: he took her aside, and I guessed that he was offering her a job
More example sentences
  • A note especially to ladies and gay men: when a guy guesses your age, always add four years to his estimate, because that's the age he thinks you really are.
  • I wasn't sure who she directed the comment to but I was guessing it was Max.
  • The informant laughed when he told her, so she guessed it must be someone important.
estimate, hazard a guess, reckon, gauge, judge, calculate;
hypothesize, postulate, predict, speculate, conjecture, surmise
informal guesstimate
1.1 (guess at) Make a conjecture about: their motives he could only guess at
More example sentences
  • I bought three, for 25 bucks each, guessing at the sizes - small for me; small for Jay, my older brother by four years; and medium for Terry, my younger brother by four years.
  • And we judge each other by the words before us - not seeing the face, knowing the race, guessing at age, gender, place, politics, religion, ethnicity.
  • On the other hand, it's not clear whether the memo was reporting the casinos' expressed motivations, or was just guessing at the motives.
1.2Correctly conjecture or perceive: [with clause]: she’s guessed where we’re going
More example sentences
  • We tend to assume that because we can guess the name of some very popular sites that the naming scheme works and makes sense.
  • Instead of guessing the score, you recited your imaginary measurements!
  • They are there instead of plying their trade on the streets expecting to meet, you've guessed it, a foreigner.
1.3 (I guess) informal Used to indicate that although one thinks or supposes something, it is without any great conviction or strength of feeling: [with clause]: I guess I’d better tell you everything
More example sentences
  • So I guess this is probably a good time to do an entry on the birthday celebrations.
  • Overall, I guess the most interesting part of the film was the attending audience.
  • History, I guess, will tell if our efforts prove enough or not for our World Cup chances.
suppose, think, imagine, expect, suspect, dare say
informal reckon, figure


An estimate or conjecture: my guess is that within a year we will have a referendum
More example sentences
  • The trouble with this is that many of the available numbers are guesses described as estimates.
  • To what extent was it based on estimates, guesses and interpretations, however well-founded?
  • Without complete designs for these projects, cost estimates are only wild guesses.
hypothesis, theory, prediction, postulation, conjecture, surmise, estimate, belief, opinion, reckoning, judgment, supposition, speculation, suspicion, impression, feeling
informal guesstimate, shot in the dark



anybody's (or anyone's) guess

Very difficult or impossible to determine: how well the system will work is anybody’s guess
More example sentences
  • It is anyone's guess if Easter Sunday will be resurrection day for him.
  • How many Pittsburghers will know what they really are celebrating is anyone's guess.
  • Some of these will make fortunes for their directors and some will not, but it's anyone's guess which will thrive and which will fail.

keep someone guessing

informal Leave someone uncertain or in doubt as to one’s intentions or plans.
Example sentences
  • To some extent I think it's the playwright's intention to keep us guessing.
  • This was intentionally to keep you guessing, which by itself isn't a bad thing.
  • Here, the agenda is wrapped up quite nicely in a complex relationship that keeps us guessing about Alice's true intentions.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡesəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The servers have not been maintained properly and the selection of passwords (many had default passwords or easily guessable passwords) was irresponsible and showed a complete lack of attention to security.
  • The promised metaphysical delights turn out to be pretty guessable from the trailer, and they don't really do all that much with the idea once it's out in the open.
  • The other is easily guessable from the cover design.


Example sentences
  • There's a clue in the painting above as to my destination, correct guessers will receive the usual part-furnished bedsit in Tottenham Hale.
  • In reality, of course, such people are just good guessers.
  • In the event the first prize winner is also the closest with the tiebreaker, out of all the entries, then the runners up prize will go to the next closest guesser.


Middle English: origin uncertain; perhaps from Dutch gissen, and probably related to get.

Words that rhyme with guess

acquiesce, address, assess, Bess, bless, bouillabaisse, caress, cess, chess, coalesce, compress, confess, convalesce, cress, deliquesce, digress, dress, duchesse, duress, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, excess, express, fess, finesse, fluoresce, Hesse, impress, incandesce, intumesce, jess, largesse, less, manageress, mess, ness, noblesse, obsess, oppress, outguess, phosphoresce, politesse, possess, press, priestess, princess, process, profess, progress, prophetess, regress, retrogress, stress, success, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, tress, tristesse, underdress, vicomtesse, yes

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: guess

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.