View synonyms for inference


[ in-fer-uhns, -fruhns ]


  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.


/ ˈɪnfərəns; -frəns /


  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 used See also deduction induction
“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


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

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Other Words From

  • mis·infer·ence noun
  • pre·infer·ence noun
  • super·infer·ence noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of inference1

From the Medieval Latin word inferentia, dating back to 1585–95. See infer, -ence
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Idioms and Phrases

see draw an inference .
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Example Sentences

The value lies in the inferences drawn from your interactions, which are also stored on your phone—but that data does not belong to you.

To humans this is basic common sense, but algorithms have a hard time making causal inferences, especially without a large dataset or in a different context than the one they were trained in.

We’re talking about a small-scale research finding that was the truth in that finding, but because of the mechanics of statistical inference, it just won’t be right.

You can also find this inference on the web and at events each year around the world.

If a device is frequenting an NFL stadium, for example, you can infer that the user is a football fan, which allows a host of other inferences to form.

The inference that the child was treated as an equal in the community is unwarranted.

This is an example of abductive reasoning: an inference is made based on known facts, in an effort to explain them.

The reasoning task requires the mice to make an inference by exclusion.

Sen. Claire McCaskill  said the “innuendo and inference” reminded her of Joe McCarthy.

The inference of “it” is that Burns himself wandered a painful distance down a suicidal path after being bullied in school.

The inference which ought to have been drawn from these facts was that the prohibitory system was absurd.

No inference can be drawn from any comparisons between sexual crime of adults and sexual misbehaviour among children.

She evidently made up her mind that logic was a fallacious mode of inference, and determined to abandon it for the future.

Mrs. Stanley did not see her way clear to comment either upon the fact or the inference.

I beg you to believe me that there has been nothing between your wife and myself that could justify the inference you have drawn.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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