- 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 for infer 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 infer
Therefore, we can at least infer that the people of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes did not have a rigorous eugenics program like Sparta.Living With Disability in the Dark Ages
July 22, 2014
I would tend to infer that I guess he is, however reluctantly.That Fascinating Obama–Charlie Rose Interview
June 18, 2013
Some people chose to infer that we believed humans to be feeble-minded, which we never did.Daniel Kahneman’s Gripe With Behavioral Economics
April 26, 2013
I infer from this that Dan Kois is not afflicted with lower back trouble.Should People Stop Reclining Their Seats?
February 20, 2013
Is one meant to infer that he began to write on his return from Chequers, and was interrupted; or is it a slip?Harold Evans Responds to Murdoch
April 25, 2012
As the universe shews wisdom and goodness, we infer wisdom and goodness.
There may be no reason to infer the existence of one from the appearance of the other.
From which I infer that you secretly think her manner equal to her looks?'Little Dorrit
But have we a right to infer that it will permanently assert itself?Freeland
Then do you infer that these men who must stand at their work inherited the idea from their ancestors?City of Endless Night
- 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 infer
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.