June 10, 2012
- infer (verb)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : to arrive at as a conclusion2 : guess, surmise3 : imply
- How do you use it?
- "On the whole, from these various sources of evidence, all pointing in the same direction, I infer that with most species of Lepidoptera, the mature males generally exceed the females in number, whatever the proportions may be at their first emergence from the egg." (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man)
- Are you a word wiz?
Can you infer which word means about the same thing as "infer"?"Infer," "deduce," "conclude," and "judge" mean to think about something in order to draw a conclusion. "Infer" implies arriving at a conclusion by reasoning from evidence. ("From their applause, I inferred that they enjoyed the show.") "Deduce" often adds the implication of drawing a conclusion from a generalization. ("We deduced from his appearance that he must be very neat.") "Conclude" implies coming to a conclusion at the end of a chain of reasoning. ("He concluded from his research that renovating the building is the best option.") "Judge" stresses a weighing of the evidence on which a conclusion is based. ("It is important to judge a book by its content, not its cover.")