[ ges ]
/ gɛs /
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See synonyms for: guess / guessed / guesses / guessing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
to form an estimate or conjecture (often followed by at or about): We guessed at the weight of the package.
to estimate or conjecture correctly.
an opinion that one reaches or to which one commits oneself on the basis of probability alone or in the absence of any evidence whatever.
the act of forming such an opinion: to take a guess at someone's weight.


Can You Guess These Words From Their Definitions?

In this game, one person is going to share the definition of a word they chose. Then, another person has to guess what word it is. You should guess along at home! Don’t worry: we’ll have clues!

Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Idioms about guess

    by guess and by gosh, Northern U.S. using a combination of guesswork and reliance on luck; hit or miss.Also by guess and by golly.

Origin of guess

1300–50; (verb) Middle English gessen, perhaps from Scandinavian; compare Swedish, Danish, Norwegian gissa, Middle Low German gissen, Middle Dutch gessen, Old Norse geta; (noun) Middle English gesse, derivative of the verb. See get

synonym study for guess

1, 2, 4. Guess, guess at, conjecture, surmise imply attempting to form an opinion as to the probable. To guess is to risk an opinion regarding something one does not know about, or, wholly or partly by chance, to arrive at the correct answer to a question: to guess the outcome of a game. Guess at implies more haphazard or random guessing: to guess at the solution of a crime. To conjecture is to make inferences in the absence of sufficient evidence to establish certainty: to conjecture the circumstances of the crime. Surmise implies making an intuitive conjecture that may or may not be correct: to surmise the motives that led to it.



guessed , guest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a basic definition of guess?

Guess means to attempt to provide an answer to something without knowing with certainty that it is correct. When you guess in this way, you don’t have enough information to know for sure. Guess is also a noun that refers to the answer that you give in such a situation. Guess also means to believe or suppose. Guess has a few other senses as a noun and a verb and is used in several idioms.

When you guess, it means you’re trying to provide the right answer even though you don’t have enough information to know what it is.

Real-life examples: People guess things because they don’t know all the details or because there is not enough information available. People often guess what the weather will be like, or what the future may hold, or what the right answer is to a question on a test.

Used in a sentence: I had no clue what her favorite color was so I guessed that it was red. 

Guess is also commonly used as a noun to refer to the answer arrived at by a person who is guessing. A guess usually relies on luck or hope because a person doesn’t have enough information.

Used in a sentence: I thought my prediction had a chance to come true, but my guess turned out to be wrong. 

As a verb, guess is also used as a synonym for words like think, believe, and suppose—it can mean to feel that something might be possible, doable, or feasible.

Used in a sentence: I guess I can make it to the bank before it closes.

Where does guess come from?

The first records of the word guess come from the early 1300s. It comes from the Middle English gessen and may be Scandanavian in origin. The noun sense of guess comes from the Middle English gesse, which is based on the verb.

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What are some other forms related to guess?

  • guessable (adjective)
  • guesser (noun)

What are some synonyms for guess?

What are some words that share a root or word element with guess


What are some words that often get used in discussing guess?

How is guess used in real life?

Guess is used in the context of someone trying to come up with a right answer when they aren’t sure about something.



Try using guess!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of guess?

A. believe
B. think
C. suppose
D. know

How to use guess in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for guess

/ (ɡɛs) /

verb (when tr, may take a clause as object)
(when intr, often foll by at or about) to form or express an uncertain estimate or conclusion (about something), based on insufficient informationguess what we're having for dinner
to arrive at a correct estimate of (something) by guessinghe guessed my age
informal, mainly US and Canadian to believe, think, or suppose (something)I guess I'll go now
keep a person guessing to let a person remain in a state of uncertainty

Derived forms of guess

guessable, adjectiveguesser, nounguessingly, adverb

Word Origin for guess

C13: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Swedish gissa, Old Danish gitse, Middle Dutch gissen; see get
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with guess


see anyone's guess; educated guess; have another guess coming; your guess is as good as mine.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.