imply

[im-plahy]
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verb (used with object), im·plied, im·ply·ing.
  1. to indicate or suggest without being explicitly stated: His words implied a lack of faith.
  2. (of words) to signify or mean.
  3. to involve as a necessary circumstance: Speech implies a speaker.
  4. Obsolete. to enfold.

Origin of imply

1325–75; Middle English implien, emplien < Middle French emplier < Latin implicāre; see implicate
Related formsre·im·ply, verb (used with object), re·im·plied, re·im·ply·ing.su·per·im·ply, verb (used with object), su·per·im·plied, su·per·im·ply·ing.
Can be confusedimply infer (see usage note at infer)

Synonyms for imply

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Usage note

See infer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for implying

Contemporary Examples of implying

Historical Examples of implying

  • We are accustomed to think of suffering as implying the possibility of joy.

  • (implying that if he delighted in censure he might have abundant opportunity of finding fault).

  • They could not, as they put it, doubt their own eyesight, implying that they would do so if they could.

  • And he made a strange and significant gesture, implying violence.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • And then the cunning stroke of implying that her sister was not indisposed to listen to me.

    A Rent In A Cloud

    Charles James Lever


British Dictionary definitions for implying

imply

verb -plies, -plying or -plied (tr; may take a clause as object)
  1. to express or indicate by a hint; suggestwhat are you implying by that remark?
  2. to suggest or involve as a necessary consequence
  3. logic to enable (a conclusion) to be inferred
  4. obsolete to entangle or enfold

Word Origin for imply

C14: from Old French emplier, from Latin implicāre to involve; see implicate

xref

See infer
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 implying

imply

v.

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