An example of infer is to assume that a child took the plate of cookies since he was the only one in the room when the cookies went missing.
- Obs. to bring on or about; cause; induce
- to conclude or decide from something known or assumed; derive by reasoning; draw as a conclusion
- to indicate indirectly; imply: in this sense, still regarded as a loose usage by many
Origin of inferClassical Latin inferre, to bring or carry in, infer ; from in-, in + ferre, to carry, bear
verbin·ferred, in·fer·ring, in·fers
- To conclude from evidence or by reasoning: “For many years the cerebral localization of all higher cognitive processes could be inferred only from the effects of brain injuries on the people who survived them” (Sally E. Shaywitz).
- To involve by logical necessity; entail: “Socrates argued that a statue inferred the existence of a sculptor” (Academy).
- (Usage Problem) To indicate indirectly; imply.
Origin of inferLatin īnferre, to bring in, adduce : in-, in; see in–2 + ferre, to bear; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present infers, present participle inferring, simple past and past participle inferred)
- To introduce (something) as a reasoned conclusion; to conclude by reasoning or deduction, as from premises or evidence. [from 16th c.]
- To lead to (something) as a consequence; to imply. (Now often considered incorrect, especially with a person as subject.) [from 16th c.]
- Sir Thomas More
- The first part is not the proof of the second, but rather contrariwise, the second inferreth well the first.
There are two ways in which the word "infer" is sometimes used as if it meant "imply". "Implication" is done by a person when making a "statement", whereas "inference" is done to a proposition after it had already been made or assumed. Secondly, the word "infer" can sometimes be used to mean "allude" or "express" in a suggestive manner rather than as a direct "statement". Using the word "infer" in this sense is now generally considered incorrect.
From Latin inferō.