infer


infer
verb

is it really possible to infer that a crime was committed, given this flimsy evidence?

Syn:
deduce, conclude, conjecture, surmise, reason, interpret; gather, understand, presume, assume, take it, extrapolate; read between the lines, figure (out); informal reckon
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infer
Properly used, infer means "deduce; reason from premises to a conclusion" — e.g.: "We get no sense of the man himself from this book except what we can infer from the biographical facts that Mr. Magida presents." (New York Times; Aug. 18, 1996.)
Writers frequently misuse infer when imply (= hint at; suggest) would be the correct word — e.g.: "And no team is, of course, inferring [read implying] that Dallas isn't talented." (New York Times; Jan. 12, 1996.) Remember: a speaker or writer implies something without putting it expressly. A listener or reader infers beyond what has been literally expressed. Or, as Theodore Bernstein put it, "The implier is the pitcher; the inferrer is the catcher." (The Careful Writer; 1965.) Stylists agree that the important distinction between these words deserves to be maintained. — BG

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  • infer — infer, imply 1. The only point noted by Fowler (1926) was that the inflected forms of infer are inferred and inferring, and this is thankfully still true (but note inferable or inferrable, with one r or two, and inference with only one r). Fowler …   Modern English usage

  • Infer — In*fer , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Inferred}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Inferring}.] [L. inferre to bring into, bring forward, occasion, infer; pref. in in + ferre to carry, bring: cf. F. inf[ e]rer. See 1 st {Bear}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To bring on; to induce;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • infer — in·fer /in fər/ vb in·ferred, in·fer·ring vt: to derive as a conclusion from facts or premises could infer acceptance of the offer from the offeree s response vi: to draw inferences in·fer·able also in·fer·ri·ble /in fər ə bəl/ adj …   Law dictionary

  • infer — [in fʉr′] vt. inferred, inferring [L inferre, to bring or carry in, infer < in , in + ferre, to carry, BEAR1] 1. Obs. to bring on or about; cause; induce 2. to conclude or decide from something known or assumed; derive by reasoning; draw as a… …   English World dictionary

  • infer — infer, deduce, conclude, judge, gather are comparable when they mean to arrive at by reasoning from evidence or from premises. All except gather are so clearly differentiated in logical use that these distinctions tend to be retained in general… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • infer — (v.) 1520s, from L. inferre bring into, carry in; deduce, infer, conclude, draw an inference; bring against, from in in (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + ferre carry, bear, from PIE *bher (1) to bear, to carry, to take (Cf. Skt. bharati carries; Avestan… …   Etymology dictionary

  • infer — ► VERB (inferred, inferring) ▪ deduce from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements. DERIVATIVES inferable (also inferrable) adjective. USAGE On the use of imply and infer, see the note at …   English terms dictionary

  • infer — adj. inv. (despre ovar) situat dedesubtul punctelor de inserţie ale sepalelor, petalelor sau staminelor. (< fr. infère, lat. inferus) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • infer — ìnfer m DEFINICIJA reg. željezna rešetka na prozoru ETIMOLOGIJA tal. inferriata …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • infer — [v] conclude arrive at, ascertain, assume, believe, collect, conjecture, construe, deduce, derive, draw, draw inference, figure, figure out, gather, glean, guess, induce, interpret, intuit, judge, presume, presuppose, reach conclusion, read… …   New thesaurus

  • infer — verb (inferred; inferring) Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French inferer, from Latin inferre, literally, to carry or bring into, from in + ferre to carry more at bear Date: 1528 transitive verb 1. to derive as a conclusion from facts… …   New Collegiate Dictionary