- to derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence: They inferred his displeasure from his cool tone of voice.
- (of facts, circumstances, statements, etc.) to indicate or involve as a conclusion; lead to.
- to guess; speculate; surmise.
- to hint; imply; suggest.
- to draw a conclusion, as by reasoning.
Origin of infer
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Although the claimed distinction has probably existed chiefly in the pronouncements of usage guides, and although the use of infer to mean “to suggest” usually produces no ambiguity, the distinction too has a long history and is widely observed by many speakers and writers.
Examples from the Web for inferred
Scheiber inferred that Jarrett “is the closest we have to a human decoder ring” capable of unveiling “the real Barack Obama.”Valerie Jarrett, Obama Consigliere—and Democracy Killer
November 12, 2014
The same group of astronomers has also inferred a type of exoplanet that fits in between the rocky planets and the gas giants.Mega-Earth Is the Weirdest Exoplanet Yet
Matthew R. Francis
June 8, 2014
But a la the premise often inferred by Disney's Cool Runnings, can anybody do it?Is It Really That Easy to be an Olympic Bobsledder?
January 17, 2014
Indeed, neither conclusion can be inferred even from what Issacharoff quotes Olmert saying, but never mind.What Commentary Gets Wrong About Olmert-Abbas Negotiations
May 28, 2013
CEO seemed to have inferred that a 400-pound black woman is on welfare, despite having no proof.Rupert Murdoch’s Most Offensive Tweets
The Daily Beast
November 18, 2012
That this is wholly of recent growth, is not, of course, to be inferred.De Libris: Prose and Verse
Nothing as to the manners of the times can be inferred from this freak of an individual.Old News
Mr. Galloway, at least, inferred this, and answered the look.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
Tom inferred from these, and other expressions of the same nature, that he was jealous.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
His industry may be inferred from the number of his engravings and etchings, of which he left not fewer than 1600.Self-Help
- to conclude (a state of affairs, supposition, etc) by reasoning from evidence; deduce
- (tr) to have or lead to as a necessary or logical consequence; indicate
- (tr) to hint or imply
Word Origin and History for inferred
1520s, from Latin inferre "bring into, carry in; deduce, infer, conclude, draw an inference; bring against," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + ferre "carry, bear," from PIE *bher- (1) "to bear, to carry, to take" (cf. Sanskrit bharati "carries;" Avestan baraiti "carries;" Old Persian barantiy "they carry;" Armenian berem "I carry;" Greek pherein "to carry;" Old Irish beru/berim "I catch, I bring forth;" Gothic bairan "to carry;" Old English and Old High German beran, Old Norse bera "barrow;" Old Church Slavonic birati "to take;" Russian brat' "to take," bremya "a burden"). Sense of "draw a conclusion" is first attested 1520s.