infer
Pronunciation
  • (America) IPA: /ɪnˈfɝ/
  • (RP) IPA: /ɪnˈfɜː/
Verb

infer (infers, present participle inferring; past and past participle inferred)

  1. (transitive) To introduce (something) as a reasoned conclusion; to conclude by reasoning or deduction, as from premises or evidence. [from 16th c.]
    • 2010, "Keep calm, but don't carry on", The Economist, 7 Oct 2010:
      It is dangerous to infer too much from martial bluster in British politics: at the first hint of trouble, channelling Churchill is a default tactic for beleaguered leaders of all sorts.
  2. (transitive) To lead to (something) as a consequence; to imply. (Now often considered incorrect, especially with a person as subject.) [from 16th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 3, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      These and a thousand like propositions, which concurre in this purpose, do evidently inferre {{transterm
    • c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene v]:
      This doth infer the zeal I had to see him.
    • The first part is not the proof of the second, but rather contrariwise, the second inferreth well the first.
  3. (obsolete) To cause, inflict (something) upon or to someone. [16th-18th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.8:
      faire Serena […] fled fast away, afeard / Of villany to be to her inferd […].
  4. (obsolete) To introduce (a subject) in speaking, writing etc.; to bring in. [16th–18th c.]
    • c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene ii]:
      Full well hath Clifford played the orator, / Inferring arguments of mighty force.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations
  • German: zur Folge haben
  • Italian: implicare
  • Russian: предполагать
  • Spanish: inferir



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