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  1. something implied or suggested as naturally to be inferred or understood: to resent an implication of dishonesty.
  2. the act of implying: His implication of immediate changes surprised us.
  3. the state of being implied: to know only by implication.
  4. Logic. the relation that holds between two propositions, or classes of propositions, in virtue of which one is logically deducible from the other.
  5. the act of implicating or indicating that one or more persons may be involved, as in a crime: The implication of his accomplices came only after hours of grueling questioning by the police.
  6. the state of being implicated: We recently heard of his implication in a conspiracy.
  7. Usually implications. relationships of a close or intimate nature; involvements: the religious implications of ancient astrology.

Origin of implication

1400–50; late Middle English implicacio(u)n < Latin implicātiōn- (stem of implicātiō) an interweaving, equivalent to implicāt(us) (see implicate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsim·pli·ca·tion·al, adjectivenon·im·pli·ca·tion, noun

Synonyms for implication

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7. associations, connections. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for implication

Contemporary Examples of implication

Historical Examples of implication

  • I wish it were possible to speak of God without the implication of dealing with religion.

  • This, it must be observed, was not a direct falsehood: it was such only by implication.

  • "We must make haste, Miss Calendar," said Kirkwood, ignoring the implication.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • I should have been shot for that but His Majesty did not see the implication.

  • If these papers do not say so plainly, they say it by implication.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton

British Dictionary definitions for implication


  1. the act of implicating or the state of being implicated
  2. something that is implied; suggestionthe implication of your silence is that you're bored
  3. logic
    1. the operator that forms a sentence from two given sentences and corresponds to the English ifthen
    2. a sentence so formed. Usually written p→q or p⊃q, where p,q are the component sentences, it is true except when p (the antecedent) is true and q (the consequent) is false
    3. the relation between such sentences
Derived Formsimplicational, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for implication

early 15c., "action of entangling," from Latin implicationem (nominative implicatio) "interweaving, entanglement," from past participle stem of implicare "involve, entangle, connect closely," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)). Meaning "something implied (but not expressed)" is from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper