July 14, 2011
- imply (verb)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : to include or involve as a natural or necessary part even though not put clearly into words2 : to express indirectly : suggest rather than say plainly
- How do you use it?
- "'Oh, indeed!' said Miss Kate, but she might as well have said, 'Dear me, how dreadful!' for her tone implied it, and something in her face made Meg color, and wish she had not been so frank." (Louisa May Alcott, Little Women)
- Are you a word wiz?
Which word do you think is a synonym of "imply"?"Imply," "suggest," "hint," and "insinuate" mean to communicate an idea indirectly. "Suggest" stresses putting a thought into a person's mind, as in "The film's title suggests its subject matter." "Imply" is close in meaning to "suggest." But with "imply," an idea is conveyed without saying or showing it plainly, as in "Early reports implied that the school would be closed by next year." "Hint" involves the use of slight suggestion, as in "She hinted that she might get the job." "Insinuate" adds a sense that the subject is unpleasant or insulting and that there is something sly or underhanded in the manner that it is being conveyed, as in "Are you insinuating that I am a liar?"