• synonyms


[in-fer-uh ns, -fruh ns]
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  1. the act or process of inferring.
  2. something that is inferred: to make rash inferences.
  3. Logic.
    1. the process of deriving the strict logical consequences of assumed premises.
    2. the process of arriving at some conclusion that, though it is not logically derivable from the assumed premises, possesses some degree of probability relative to the premises.
    3. a proposition reached by a process of inference.
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Origin of inference

From the Medieval Latin word inferentia, dating back to 1585–95. See infer, -ence
Related formsmis·in·fer·ence, nounpre·in·fer·ence, nounsu·per·in·fer·ence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inference

presumption, conjecture, interpretation, supposition, assumption, reasoning, corollary, reading, guess, hint

Examples from the Web for inference

Contemporary Examples of inference

Historical Examples of inference

British Dictionary definitions for inference


  1. the act or process of inferring
  2. an inferred conclusion, deduction, etc
  3. any process of reasoning from premises to a conclusion
  4. logic the specific mode of reasoning usedSee also deduction (def. 4), induction (def. 4)
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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 inference


1590s, from Medieval Latin inferentia, from Latin inferentem (nominative inferens), present participle of inferre (see infer).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inference in Culture


In logic, the deriving of one idea from another. Inference can proceed through either induction or deduction.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with inference


see draw an inference.

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