infer

When you infer something, you read between the lines. To infer is to make a well informed guess — if you see your mom’s bag on the table, you might infer that she’s home.

When you infer, you listen closely to someone and guess at things they mean but haven't actually said. It’s like guessing, but not making wild guesses. You're making deductions — guesses based on logic. Another kind of inferring is more scientific, like when a scientist has part of a dinosaur fossil and can infer what the rest of the dinosaur looked like. When you see the word infer, think "educated guess."

Definitions of infer
  1. verb
    conclude by reasoning; in logic
    synonyms: deduce
    see moresee less
    type of:
    conclude, reason, reason out
    decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion
  2. verb
    reason by deduction; establish by deduction
    synonyms: deduce, deduct, derive
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    types:
    extrapolate
    gain knowledge of (an area not known or experienced) by extrapolating
    surmise
    infer from incomplete evidence
    elicit
    derive by reason
    type of:
    conclude, reason, reason out
    decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion
  3. verb
    guess correctly; solve by guessing
    synonyms: guess
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    types:
    tell
    discern or comprehend
    type of:
    figure out, lick, puzzle out, solve, work, work out
    find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
  4. verb
    draw from specific cases for more general cases
    synonyms: extrapolate, generalise, generalize
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    types:
    overgeneralise, overgeneralize
    draw too general a conclusion
    universalise, universalize
    make universal
    type of:
    conclude, reason, reason out
    decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion
  5. verb
    believe to be the case
    synonyms: understand
    see moresee less
    type of:
    believe
    accept as true; take to be true
Commonly confused words

imply / infer

Imply and infer are opposites, like a throw and a catch. To imply is to hint at something, but to infer is to make an educated guess. The speaker does the implying, and the listener does the inferring.

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