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[im-plahy] /ɪmˈplaɪ/
verb (used with object), implied, implying.
to indicate or suggest without being explicitly stated:
His words implied a lack of faith.
(of words) to signify or mean.
to involve as a necessary circumstance:
Speech implies a speaker.
Obsolete. to enfold.
Origin of imply
1325-75; Middle English implien, emplien < Middle French emplier < Latin implicāre; see implicate
Related forms
reimply, verb (used with object), reimplied, reimplying.
superimply, verb (used with object), superimplied, superimplying.
Can be confused
imply, infer (see usage note at infer)
3. assume, include.
Usage note
See infer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for implying
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Measure of faith" may be understood as implying that God imparts to some more of faith itself; and to others, less.

    Epistle Sermons, Vol. II Martin Luther
  • I am far from implying or seeming to imply that this is anything to brag of.

    Back Home Eugene Wood
  • The word "revolution" as used here should not be taken as implying armed insurrection or violence, unless expressly so described.

    Communism and Christianism William Montgomery Brown
  • Perhaps I am wrong in implying that alchemy is an extinct folly.

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • The fourth, or highest, implying entire union with the Divine essence, is held by Schamyl alone.

British Dictionary definitions for implying


verb (transitive; may take a clause as object) -plies, -plying, -plied
to express or indicate by a hint; suggest: what are you implying by that remark?
to suggest or involve as a necessary consequence
(logic) to enable (a conclusion) to be inferred
(obsolete) to entangle or enfold
Word Origin
C14: from Old French emplier, from Latin implicāre to involve; see implicate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for implying



late 14c., "to enfold, enwrap, entangle" (the classical Latin sense), from Old French emplier, from Latin implicare "involve" (see implication). Meaning "to involve something unstated as a logical consequence" first recorded c.1400; that of "to hint at" from 1580s. Related: Implied; implying. The distinction between imply and infer is in "What do you imply by that remark?" But, "What am I to infer from that remark?"

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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